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A 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V converted to run on electric power – and carrying a passenger enjoying the full chauffeured experience – has set an unofficial lap record on Brands Hatch’s Indy circuit.
It was part of an event organised by Classic & Sports Car’s sister title Move Electric, and the Phantom was one of seven vehicles participating to highlight the diversity of electric power.
The Lunz-converted Rolls-Royce was joined on track at Brands Hatch by a Tesla Model S, Britain’s best-selling electric vehicle, a Citroën e-Dispatch electric van, a Silence S01 electric moped, an Apex Predator electric skateboard, a Gocycle G4 electric bike and a Perry eHopper P4 e-scooter.
And you can watch the event’s video here.
This Rolls-Royce established an unofficial record for an ‘electromod’ car conversion, and work to this Phantom V includes replacing the engine and fuel tank with a 123kWh battery pack, estimated to deliver a range of 300 miles.
However that adds significant weight which was punishing around the undulating 1.2-mile lap of Brands Hatch, leaving it to set the fourth fastest – but most stately – lap time.
The Rolls-Royce converted by Lunaz is valued at more than £1m and has a two-tone paintjob, separated by a hand-painted feature line, the distinctive colour of which was inspired by the previous owner’s decision to install a pink Bakelite telephone between the rear seats.
This phone remains in the car, upgraded to incorporate the latest cellular phone and encryption technology.
Inside, Lunaz has restored the Rolls-Royce’s original woodwork, but mixed the traditional features with more modern technology, including an up-to-date infotainment system, including satellite navigation and climate control, plus two screens hidden behind picnic tables so rear-seat occupants can watch films.
There’s also a drinks cabinet and Lunaz offers customers the chance to specify a bottle holder to their specific dimensions; in this car it is tailored to the owner’s favourite tequila brand.
“A 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V has proven its imperiousness in Knightsbridge, Casino Square and now the Indy Circuit at Brands Hatch – a formidable technical challenge for even the most focused track machines,” said James Warren, who drove the car at the event.
“I’m not surprised that the Rolls-Royce was entirely unfazed as it set a surely unbeatable lap record.”
Whether or not you’re a fan of classic cars converted to run on electric power, this was nonetheless an impressive showcase.
- Tesla Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive (electric production car): 1 min 6.77 secs
- Citroën e-Dispatch Enterprise Pro XL 75kWh (electric van): 1 min 11.48 secs
- Silence S01 Connected (electric moped): 1 min 29.03 secs
- Lunaz Rolls-Royce Phantom V (classic EV conversion): 2 mins 7.04 secs
- Apex Predator (prototype electric skateboard): 3 mins 1.35 secs
- Gocycle G4 (e-bike): 3 mins 19.44 secs
- Perry eHopper P4 (e-scooter): 5 mins 10.03 secs