The luxury of motoring

by staff writer JP

A selection of the most luxurious cars with the story of their design, owners and the chauffeurs who drove them

Spanning the golden age of luxury motoring to today’s aspirational cars, perceptions of taste and class are themes that are explored. On display are a range of fascinating objects, films and rarely seen images from the National Motor Museum Trust’s archives. Also showcased is a collection of 28 Lalique glass car mascots, whose owner chose the home of motoring to display his treasures.

Beaulieu has an unparalleled collection of Rolls-Royces by virtue of the Montagu family connection. John, 2nd Baron Montagu opened the first Rolls-Royce factory so naturally quite a few are on display.

1909 Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost
A favourite car of the late Edward, Lord Montagu and carried his coffin at his funeral.

1925 Rolls-Royce 40/50 Phantom
John, Lord Montagu was so impressed with this car he bought one at the 1925 London Motor Show.

1933 Rolls-Royce 40/50 Phantom II
Bought by media tycoon Lord Beaverbrook and fitted with a Sedanca de Ville body.

1968 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow
Part of the National Motor Museum Trust’s collection, incorporated four-wheel disc brakes.

2017 Rolls-Royce Wraith
Commissioned by the son of Beatles producer Sir George Martin as a tribute to his father.

"The Luxury of Motoring is [one] way we tell the history of British motoring at the National Motor Museum"
Russell Bowman, National Motor Museum Chief Executive

Other marques of note on display include quality cars of the Edwardian era, when motoring was solely for the wealthy and a very rare Mercedes.

1906 Renault 14/20hp XB

1913 Argyll 15/30hp

1928 Mercedes-Benz S Type 36/220

The display can be seen as part of a visit to Beaulieu. Tickets to Beaulieu include entry to the National Motor Museum, the World of Top Gear, On Screen Cars and the stunning house and gardens.