As anyone who has ever driven a Rolls-Royce will tell you, it’s the tiny details that make all the difference. The smooth, soft feeling of the premium cowhide used to make the seats, the warm glow of the twinkling constellation lights in the roof, the handy umbrella concealed in the door… it all goes to elevate the experience.
Another intricate detail that lifts your average Roller another notch is the addition of a coachline – a hand-drawn mark that runs over both flanks of the entire length of the vehicle. This line can be single, double, in a range of colours and can feature anything from family crests to Arabic calligraphy, based on the customer’s specifications. But one thing always remains the same: every single Rolls-Royce coachline is drawn by the hand of one man: Mark Court.
After leaving school to train as a sign writer, Court spent most of his early career painting shop fronts, restaurant signs and, later, lettering on commercial vehicles, before joining Rolls-Royce. As the only person in the world qualified to paint the coachline, Court has been personally responsible for painting more than 2,500 vehicles over the past decade.
And in 2012 his services were called upon to satisfy the needs of a very special client in Dubai, who had ordered his Rolls-Royce without a coachline, but then changed his mind after it arrived. With Court the only man in the world with the skill to draw the line, there was only one option: fly him to the UAE. And sure enough, Court hopped on a plane to Dubai just so he could leave his inimitable mark on the car.
Of course, Court isn’t going to be able to go on forever, and with a task that requires such an exceptionally steady hand and such incredible levels of focus, there was only ever going to be one replacement: Mark’s son, Ashley, who is currently being trained by his father to follow in his illustrious footsteps.
Check out the video below to see more about Court’s incredible trip to Dubai.