For the automotive world, Rolls-Royce is a true legend. This brand has always been considered prestigious, this opinion persists today.
It is no coincidence that the company is trying to bring any of its models to perfection. Celebrities, businessmen and show business stars drove around in such classic English cars in the 20th century.
As we know Rolls-Royce today, it came about through the tremendous impact of its creators. Almost all the foundations of the company were laid by Charles Stewart Rolls and Frederick Henry Royce. It often happens that childhood friends start a joint business, but this was not the case. Moreover, these men represented completely different strata of society, directly opposite to each other. But Rolls and Royce worked together to create the most luxurious car of the last century.
Frederick Royce was born on March 27, 1863 in Alvator, Lincolnshire. In his youth, he did not think that he would ever become a very rich and respectable person. Frederick's father was a miller, but not for long - soon he just went broke. The family learned what poverty is. At the age of 10, Frederick had to start working. He did different things - he carried newspapers and a telegram, worked on the railway.
But such an early start to work did not discourage the boy from learning. Frederick understood that his future directly depends on the knowledge gained. In his spare time, Royce immersed himself in mathematics, the basics of electrical engineering, and even studied foreign languages. But most of all he was attracted by engineering sciences. It was working with technology that brought him real pleasure.
Frederick's first hobby job was with Hayer Maxim. This inventor became famous for the creation of a machine gun, to which he gave his name. Royce liked that job, but he dreamed of starting his own business. That is why, from his first serious money, the guy began to save money to create start-up capital for his future company.
As a result, the company really appeared - in Manchester, together with his friend, Royce founded F.H. Royce & Co. The business gradually expanded, with 1903 becoming an important point, when Royce bought his first car. It was French Decauville. The car turned out to be very bad, with many technical problems. It literally pissed off the owner. The soul of the engineer was literally indignant. As a result, he got tired of struggling with design flaws and decided to create his own car, which was supposed to both surpass the imported analogue and suit the creator himself.
Frederick's engineering genius allowed him to really create his own car, and a year later the first copy was sold. That car turned out to be much better than the French models, which was flatteringly mentioned by the press. Royce's car had great handling characteristics, was reliable and cost a reasonable £ 395. For that time, it was a lot of money, but the company did not initially pursue cheapness.
Charles Rolls had a different fate. He was born into a noble and wealthy Welsh family in 1877. It makes sense that Rolls received an excellent education. He even had two diplomas - Eaton and Cambridge. While attending college, Rolls became seriously interested in engineering. And the first car of the young dandy was the Peugeot Faeton. It was bought by Charles' father when the young man was studying at Cambridge.
The young lord quickly mastered this engineering miracle and even began to participate in races on it. Charles was even able to set one of the world speed records. Rolls' love of cars was truly limitless. After graduation, he even decided to open his own company that would sell newfangled vehicles.
In 1902, CS Rolls & Co. was founded. She was just selling cars. The owner managed to attract a famous specialist in this industry - Claude Johnson to the case. Soon things went uphill, Royce's company became one of the largest car suppliers in the UK.
But Charles did not just sell ready-made cars, he dreamed of creating his own model that would glorify himself. But organizing production from scratch was too expensive. It was necessary to find some small promising company that could become a good partner. This is exactly what the Manchester F.H. Royce & Co.
The fateful acquaintance took place in 1904. Rolls and Royce were able to quickly agree on everything, but Charles went to Manchester with skepticism. But back he was already bringing with him an agreement on full cooperation. The partnership soon gave birth to the first cars. The press and critics spoke of them with sympathy, at the end of the same year the already merged Rolls-Royce company appeared. The first cars under this brand sold well.
After all, Royce created really excellent machines in engineering, and Rolls knew how to sell them profitably. In addition, an extensive distribution network remained, which easily sold cars throughout the country. But the company had ambitious plans, it did not want to be content with England alone. Rolls-Royce was soon sold in Europe, and in 1906 the car was presented in New York. The conqueror of the English roads was received with enthusiasm in America.
It is very important that the powers have been successfully divided between the founders. Experts say that a person is either the creator of the product or its seller. You need to understand as soon as possible who you really are and find that partner who will complement you in another area. In this case, Royce played the role of the creator, he was the chief engineer responsible for creating cool cars. And Rolls did what he did best — he sold cars. This collaboration of complementary people was the main reason for the success of their joint company.
That trip to America became very important for Rolls-Royce. Indeed, in addition to successful sales, she infected Charles Royce with a new hobby - aviation. Overseas, the Englishman met the Wright brothers, immediately falling in love with flying. Aviation became Royce's new passion. He quickly mastered basic flight skills and even managed to fly across the English Channel. Rolls' passion was reflected in his business. The company began to produce aircraft engines, continuing this direction today.
Largely thanks to such products, Rolls-Royce was able to survive during the First World War, when people were not particularly interested in expensive cars, the demand for them fell sharply. In 1910, Rolls' passion for aviation ended in tragedy. The Englishman crashed in an airplane at the age of only 33, becoming the first British person to die in a plane crash. And the management of the company passed into the hands of Frederick Royce, who immediately fell on a lot of unusual problems for him.
During the First World War, the company produced armored vehicles for the British and their allies. And in the 1920s, sports car competitions began to excite everyone. Racing is becoming insanely popular in Europe. Rolls-Royce becomes one of the most important participants; it has repeatedly won various Grand Prix. Thanks to his successes in sports, Frederic Royce even earned the title of knight. And in 1933, the second founder of the automobile brand also died. This is how the history of the company began without Rolls and Royce.
Shortly before his death, Sir Frederick Henry Royce created his last engine, Merlin. He stood on many aircraft of the Second World War, a total of 160 thousand of such units were produced.
Thanks to the founders, a solid foundation was laid for the development and prosperity of the brand. She has already become known all over the world, her main features have been formed. Rolls-Royce cars became not just the transport of the nouveau riche, it was a status item that demonstrated the chosenness of its owner. It reads that this car is purely English, designed for aristocrats. It is no coincidence that Rolls-Royce bought real stars.
The cream of society appreciated an expensive but high-status thing. On several occasions, Hollywood stars have posed next to their car, thereby doing free advertising for Rolls-Royce. It is interesting that sometimes the purchase of such a car spoke of the owner's bad taste. After all, if the social status does not correspond to such a car, then there is no need to try to look more prestigious.
Above all else, Rolls-Royce has always been of outstanding quality. Hand-assembled and finished to perfection. It is no coincidence that the brand is called the quality standard. In 1931, the company also acquired Bentley, which was also famous for its luxury cars. This made it possible to expand the range of offered models. Rolls-Royce is not doing as well as it used to be.
In 1971, the company filed for bankruptcy altogether, the national treasure was saved by the British government. In the late 1990s, a long saga of selling the company began. As a result, it was acquired by a German BMW in 2003. Rolls-Royce's golden years are gone forever, remaining in the 20th century. Sales are falling, and the brand itself is no longer so popular.