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Rolls-Royce reveals Wraith Eagle VIII 

by Justin King

The special edition celebrates the first non-stop transatlantic flight in 1919.

Rolls-Royce has revealed the Wraith Eagle VIII Collection ahead of the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este.

The special edition takes its name from the Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines that powered a modified WWI-era Vickers Vimy biplane for the first nonstop transatlantic flight.

Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown set out in June 2019 from St John's, Newfoundland, and landed in Clifden, Ireland, after crossing the Atlantic Ocean at an average speed of 115 mph. Their radio and navigation instruments failed "almost immediately," forcing Brown to navigate by the stars after emerging from clouds and freezing fog.

"I do not know what we should most admire - their audacity, determination, skill, science, their aeroplane, their Rolls-Royce engines - or their good fortune," said Sir Winston Churchill at the time.

The Wraith Eagle VIII features aviation-inspired design elements including Selby Grey and Gunmetal two-tone exterior paint. Inside, the grey and black leather is accented by brass. A 'starlight' headliner contains 1,183 optical fibers showing the celestial arrangement at the time of the 1919 flight.

Only 50 examples of the Wraith Eagle VIII will be produced, each presumably carrying a significantly higher price tag than the standard production car.

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