Goodwood, 29 January 2007

The first Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé destined for the USA has been bought at a charity auction held during the annual Naples Winter Wine festival in Florida for $2million. More than $1.6 million will go to the Naples Children and Education Foundation, which supports charitable and educational programmes to improve the physical, emotional and educational lives of underprivileged or at-risk children.

The car was bought by a resident of Naples, who will take delivery of the car later this year. The winning bid of $2 million is the single highest price paid for any lot in the event’s seven-year history and, it is believed, makes this Phantom Drophead Coupé the most expensive new car ever sold in the USA.

The auction, which took place on 27 January, was staged at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples. It was attended by many of the world’s finest vintners, chefs, television and film personalities, as well as wine lovers and culinary enthusiasts from all over the USA. Naples’ families who share a passion for great wine, excellent food, and supporting their community established the Festival in 2000.

Rolls-Royce launched the new Phantom Drophead Coupé at the Detroit Motor Show earlier in January 2007. The two-door, four-seat convertible is hand made at the company’s headquarters in Goodwood, England. It combines the latest in lightweight aluminium technology, elegant design and the very best hand-crafted materials. The result is a car that many have already hailed as the ultimate in open top motoring. An extensive order bank already exists, with all of the 2007 cars allocated. Full production starts in the summer.

Speaking at the event, Graeme Grieve, Sales and Marketing Director, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “This was a unique opportunity for someone to secure the first US car ahead of the current waiting list for the Drophead Coupé, and make a very generous donation to an important charity in the process. Everybody at Rolls-Royce is delighted with the result.”

This is the third year that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has worked with the Naples Winter Wine Festival, raising many hundreds of thousands of dollars for good causes.

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