Rolls-Royce gives kids the ride of their lives 

Rolls-Royce gives kids the ride of their lives 

THIS has got to be one of the cutest things to come out of any car manufacturing plant, ever. But the fact that it comes out of such a serious marque in Rolls-Royce Motor Cars ramps up the enjoyment factor even further.

A year ago, Rolls-Royce introduced its smallest vehicle ever - the Rolls-Royce SRH - for the enjoyment of kids heading into surgery at a hospital in the brand’s hometown of Chichester, in West Sussex. This was no toy, however. It included all the luxury and hand-built attention to detail you’d expect from the Bespoke Manufacturing division of the austere brand. 

The resulting Rolls-Royce SRH - named after the St Richard’s Hospital in which it resides - has just undergone its first year’s service back at the home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood. Apparently it performed faultlessly during its year of service in which an average of one child each day used the fancy set of wheels to motor to the hospital’s operating theatre.

They can travel at a fair clip, too. The car is capable of a top speed of 16km/h (10mph) but has a speed-setting variable which can be wound back to a still-entertaining 6km/h (4mph). Power is supplied by a 24-volt gel battery that propels the car along “with the same whisper-quietness achieved in Rolls-Royce’s V12 engines”, according to Rolls-Royce. The result of a philanthropic venture, the car was crafted from the ground up and given every consideration befitting the conception of a Rolls-Royce Bespoke commission, the company says. It features a two-tone paint-scheme of Andalusian White and Salamanca Blue and is finished with a hand-applied St James Red coachline. The interior features a two-tone steering wheel, seats and self-righting wheel centres which are colour-matched to the red coachline.

'We’ve noticed that dads love to admire the engineering and design specification and often ask for a turn.'

Technicians in the company’s Analysis Centre say testing of the Rolls-Royce SRH didn’t produce any “failures to proceed” and it was given a clean bill of health. The miniature car has returned to duty with its very special customers. 

Pediatric Matron at St Richard’s Hospital Sue Nicholls says the opportunity for the children to drive the car enhanced the experience for all members of their families.

“Rather than being anxious about their upcoming procedure, our young patients are positively distracted by the fun experience of negotiating the corridors to theatre in a car they can drive all by themselves,” Nicholls says. “We’ve also noticed that dads especially love to admire the engineering and design specification and often ask for a turn.”