Rolls-Royce Motor Cars today celebrates 150 years since the birth of one of the company’s founders, Sir Frederick Henry Royce, OBE. A modest genius that referred to himself simply as a ‘mechanic’, Royce had a simple engineering philosophy – the pursuit of excellence.
Born into humble beginnings on March 27, 1863, Royce was the youngest of five children. He was a natural-born entrepreneur and his skills were largely self-taught. From his earliest successes in the infant electrical industry, which he joined in 1884 aged just 21, to his death in 1933, Royce uncompromisingly pursued his basic principle of establishing the best design, using the finest materials available, worked by the highest levels of craftsmanship. In his own words:
“Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.”
Royce’s short lived partnership with Charles Rolls established in 1904 and terminating in Rolls’ premature death in a flying accident in 1910, created the name Rolls-Royce. From the beginning Rolls-Royce stood for quality of engineering and the pursuit of excellence, but the company quickly became the definition for the best.
Rolls-Royce celebrates Sir Henry, not only for his innovative thinking and acceptance of nothing less than the best, but also for his attention to precise detail and quality. Today his values and ethos continue to be practiced every day at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, where quality is central at each stage of production and perfection is always striven for.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “Sir Henry Royce, a man who came from such humble beginnings, always sought perfection in everything he did. His legacy to engineering still lives on today and I am sure he would be proud to see the cars being handcrafted at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood.”