Home / Home / Rolls-Royce Celebrate 116 Years, Restart Production at Goodwood Plant


It was on the fourth of May 1904, exactly 116 years ago at the time of writing, that Charles Rolls and Henry Royce first met in Manchester, England and planted the seeds of their automotive legacy – Rolls-Royce. Today also marks the day that the company have resumed production at their plant in Goodwood –the home of Rolls-Royce.

The British carmaker has, over this 116-year history, established itself firmly within the pantheon of the greatest luxury automobile manufacturers the world has ever seen. And to celebrate their legacy, they have released some fascinating insights on the company’s origins. According to the brand, the two legendary founders met at the Midland Hotel, and as a result of this fruitful meeting, Charles Rolls declared, “I have met the greatest engineer in the world,” referring to his new collaborator Henry Royce. And thus began a journey built on the philosophy of “take the best that exists and make it better” as Royce declared at the very beginning of their company’s journey.

Rolls-Royce go on to talk about the brand’s resilience in the face of adversity, including the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic and the Great Depression that soon followed. The company also alluded to the massive market crash of 2008, and cite this current crisis – presented by the outbreak of COVID-19 across the world as the “biggest test Rolls-Royce has ever faced,” and one it intends to face head-on as it has in the past.

Speaking regarding the company’s origins and the crisis it currently faces, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “We are living through historic times. Our primary focus is, of course, on safely resuming production at The Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex; but in marking this amazing anniversary, we are taking a moment to reflect on what 116 years have taught us.”

He added, “As a company, we can draw strength from the knowledge that although Rolls-Royce has faced uncertainty many times over the years, it has emerged more resilient and confident, with its fundamental principles unaltered. Our present challenges may be unprecedented, but as we look to the future, I am confident there is no company in the world better prepared to overcome them.”

The release goes on to draw parallels with the current necessity to work from home and Royce’s penchant for doing the same, although voluntarily in his case, from his private studio in Elmstead. One of the stories published alludes to Royce’s first attempts at an aero engine, and his humble first attempt at designing it – “, while walking on the nearby beach one day, he sketched the initial design for the R-series aero engine in the sand with his walking-stick. A later development of that design, the Merlin, would earn everlasting acclaim as the engine which powered the legendary Supermarine Spitfire.”

Speaking of Royce’s design achievements, another tale has been shared regarding the creation of the legendary Eagle VIII engine – “Royce’s home studio was also the birthplace of another, perhaps less storied engine that nevertheless occupies an important place in the annals of aviation achievement. In 1919, his Eagle VIII provided the power for the first-ever transatlantic flight, from St John’s, Newfoundland to County Galway in Ireland, by British adventurers Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars commemorated the centenary of their astonishing feat, and the engine that made it possible, in the spectacular Wraith Eagle VIII Collection Car, limited to just 50 examples, released in 2019.”

ALSO READ: Rolls-Royce Wraith First Drive Review – Wraith of the Titans | Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II Extended Wheelbase First Drive Review – The Ghost Who Wafts


About the author: Harket Suchde



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