How Much Do You Know About Rolls-Royce?

By: Torrance Grey
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
Rolls-Royce is best known as a _____ car brand.
economy
luxury
If "Cadillac" is a shorthand for wealth -- at least, a six-figure income -- "Rolls-Royce" is the symbol of the one percenter. It didn't start out that way, though. Early on, the company made its selling point the durability of their cars.
sports
family

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In what country was Rolls-Royce born?
Canada
England
Rolls-Royce is a classic English company. When it began to struggle financially, the UK government bought it, to keep it alive.
Italy
the USA

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Charles Rolls was an engineer; what was Henry Royce's early line of work?
He was an architect.
He managed a car dealership.
The "marriage" of an automotive engineer and a car salesman was a match made in heaven. They met in 1904.
He was a silversmith.
He was a banker.

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In what city was the first plant located?
Derby
Charles Rolls began making cars in Manchester, which is where he met Henry Royce. However, they chose to situate their first plant just outside Derby.
London
Manchester
York

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Other than cars, what was Charles Rolls interested in?
ballooning
chess
early airplanes
both #1 and #2
Rolls was interested in more than one kind of machine; he liked bicycles, balloons and airplanes as well as cars. He made more than 150 balloon flights, and bought an early airplane licensed by America's Wright Brothers.

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How much horsepower did the first Rolls-Royce have?
2
6
10
While there have been small cars with as little as 2 horsepower (see the Citroen "deux chevaux"), the larger bodies of early cars needed stronger engines. The first line of Rolls-Royces were planned to have from 10 hp to 30 hp.
20

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Which of these is a common name for a Rolls-Royce model?
Ghost
Phantom
Ram
both #1 and #2
Rolls-Royce has a tradition of taking names from the world of the paranormal. "Ram" is, of course, a line of Dodge trucks.

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What is the name of the R-R mascot/hood ornament?
the Iron Lady
the Spirit of Ecstasy
The sculptor used a socialite of the time, Eleanor Thornton, as his model. Somehow, the figurine has gotten the nickname "Emily" instead, as well as the "Flying Lady" and the "Silver Lady."
the Spirit of the 20th Century
the Soul of Honor

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What smaller logo, along with the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot, identifies a Rolls-Royce?
a double R
This most obvious answer here is the correct one. The logo simply represents the company's name.
a single R
a C and an H, for "Charles" and "Henry"
a small Union Jack flag

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Where was the first Rolls-Royce introduced?
Buckingham Palace
the Chicago Auto Show
the Paris Salon de l'Automobile
Today, this is better known as the Paris Auto Show. It was there that the Rolls-Royce 10 hp made its debut.
the Cannes Film Festival

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In what American city did the company open a plant in the 1920s?
Fall River, Massachusetts
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Springfield, Massachusetts
If Springfield's name is familiar, it's probably for other reasons than once hosting a Rolls-Royce factory. The famous "Springfield rifle" was made at its armory, and James Naismith created the game of basketball there.
Springfield, Oregon

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What carmaker did Rolls-Royce buy in the early 1930s?
Bentley
Bentley was known for making smaller racing and sports cars. But one of the things Rolls-Royce did after buying the company was shut down production of Bentley's larger, 8-liter model, which was too similar to the Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Benz
Daimler
Studebaker

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What was the original name of the 1906 Silver Ghost?
the Spirit
the mini-Phantom
the Silver Star
the 40/50 hp
This early model was simply named for its horsepower. But when a individual car was named "the Silver Ghost," the nickname caught on.

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About how many of the first-model Silver Ghosts were made?
50
200
1000
more than 7,000
That seems like a lot for the very early 20th century, when few people could afford cars. However, this was over a time span of 20 years, which puts the number in perspective.

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Other than cars, Rolls-Royce is known for making _____.
airplane engines
The company began making engines in the early 20th century. Even today, you might fly on a jet powered by Rolls-Royce engines.
household appliances
equestrian supplies
jewelry

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What prompted Rolls-Royce to start making airplane engines?
a fascination with Charles Lindbergh's exploits
a desire to make air travel more accessible
need for a secondary cash stream
World War I
World War I was the first war to substantially use air warfare. The need for planes and engines inevitably pulled Rolls-Royce into a new line of production.

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In what decade was the Silver Cloud introduced?
the 1930s
the 1940s
the 1950s
The Silver Cloud rolled out in 1955. It was an update of the earlier "Silver Dawn."
the 1960s

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Which of these was the name of Rolls-Royce's early business manager and third partner?
Charles Spencer King
Claude Johnson
If the third member of the top management had had the name "Rollins," it probably would have become part of the name, to facilitate a triple-R logo. As it was, Johnson had to call himself "the hyphen in the Rolls-Royce name."
Claude Rains
Henry Rollins

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True or false: Does the Spirit of Ecstasy have wings?
true
false
This is a common misconception. It is actually long, fluttering robes that give the "Silver Lady" the illusion of wings.

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What was a drawback to the early Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornaments?
They were stolen for their silver.
They blocked the view of the road ahead.
They caused puncture wounds in a crash.
both #1 and #2
We can't rule out that puncture wounds to hapless pedestrians were a possibility -- but only the first two reasons have been cited. Rolls-Royce changed the plating to nickel to resolve the first issue, and designed a kneeling version of the Silver Lady to improve visibility.

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Many of Rolls-Royce's offerings are called "saloon cars." What is this in North American English?
a convertible
a coupe
a sedan
"Saloon" means "sedan" in UK English. There are more specifics to this body style than just having four doors and a trunk, but if you're a car buff, you already know them, and if you're not, well, you don't care!
a car with a bar inside

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What year was Rolls-Royce nationalized?
1971
The de-merger and nationalization of Rolls-Royce is so complicated that you almost need a business degree to understand it. Suffice it to say that Rolls-Royce was a national icon that the British government did not want to allow to fail.
1985
1987
1995

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What prompted Rolls-Royce's financial collapse?
bad publicity in the London tabloids
the 1970s oil crisis
carrying too much debt off the books
troubles with the RB-211 airplane engine
Rolls-Royce had committed to creating this powerful new engine for US airframe makers. However, a brilliant chief engineer died in the middle of its development, the process dragged on, and cost overruns threatened to bring Rolls-Royce down.

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Who owns the Rolls-Royce line today?
BMW
Clarkson is rich, but we don't think he can afford a luxury car line! German company BMW is the current owner.
Cadillac
General Motors
Jeremy Clarkson

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In the present day, where does Rolls-Royce sell most of its cars?
China
Germany
the UK
the USA
Is it any surprise that the land of NBA stars and hip-hip millionaires buys the most Rolls-Royces? China is the second-largest market.

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True or false: Does Rolls-Royce make an SUV?
true
false
Not yet, but the first will be released in 2019.
This is a risky move on Rolls-Royce's part. SUVs had their heyday in the 1990s and 2000s, but fluctuating fuel prices have made them less popular. The company will release the "Cullinan," named for the largest diamond ever found, in 2019.

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Who designed the Spirit of Ecstasy symbol?
Kingdom Isambard Brunel
Julia Morgan
Camille Claudel
Charles Robinson Sykes
Sykes is best known for his work on the mascot. His first version, featuring the Lady with her finger to her lips, is called "The Whisper" and is displayed at the National Motor Museum in England.

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Which of these celebrities owned/owns a Rolls-Royce?
Fred Astaire
John Lennon
Kim Kardashian
all of these
That's right, even "Working Class Hero" John Lennon owned a Rolls. It was a Phantom V, which he had painted to look like a gypsy wagon, presumably in an attempt to fend off accusations that he'd gone posh.

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One of R-R's popular offerings is a "drophead coupe." Put more simply, what is this?
a convertible
"Drophead coupe" is a fancy name for a convertible. Among others, Khloe Kardashian owns one.
a hatchback
a ragtop
a V12

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Today, about how many cars per year does Rolls-Royce sell?
200 - 250
700 - 1000
1000 - 2000
about 4,000
Approximately 4,000 was the number in 2016. This was probably due to a strong stock economy in both the USA and China, big markets for Rolls. The company is only capable of producing 6,000 cars per year, at any rate.

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Celebrities make up about what percent of R-R's buyers?
5
10
20
About 1 in 5 Rolls buyers has a famous name, including two Kardashians, Simon Cowell, Jay-Z, Jay Leno and more. That still leaves room for a lot of captains of industry, governments and more.
60

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Which market was the "Year of the Dragon" special edition created for?
China
Not surprisingly, this car was made to be sold in China. It included hand-stitched rear seat cushions and the "Phantom" name in gold. (Should people in a Communist country be driving these?)
Germany
Vietnam
the United States

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How old was Charles Rolls when he died?
32
Rolls died in a flying demonstration, when the tail of his plane broke off. His was the first aviation fatality in the UK (not counting ballooning accidents).
42
52
62

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According to Bloomberg Financial News, what list did Rolls-Royce top in 2015?
number of breakdowns
number of repeat customers
number of mentions in Top 20 song lyrics
Actually, the list analyzed songs from May 2014 to May 2015. It didn't just count shout-outs to car brands, but any brand. Rolls was the most often mentioned, followed by Ferrari and then by Hennessy whiskey.
number of world politicians owning their cars

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Which of these is the NOT name of a Rolls-Royce airplane engine?
the Kestrel
the Vulture
the Mustang
Rolls-Royce's tradition was to name its airplane engines after birds of prey. The Mustang is a horse (as well as the name of both a warplane and a car).
the Peregrine

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