Meet The Founders of The Rolls-Royce Motoring Company

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rolls royce founder

Now that you know how long it takes to build one Rolls-Royce, where they are built, and who they’re built by, we thought you might enjoy knowing who made it all possible. Meet the founders: Charles Rolls, and Sir Henry Royce. Two men with very different backgrounds, but identical goals: To build the greatest car in the world.


Charles Rolls was born in 1877 to Lord and Lady Llangattock. He was raised on a large country estate outside of Wales, much like the estate that is now home to the RR Manufacturing facility. He studied mechanical engineering at Cambridge and was the first undergraduate there to own a motorcar.

rolls royce founder

Rolls loved sporting, and by the time he left university, he had already become an accomplished motorist and aviator. He was said to have beaten a land speed record in a 30hp car and was the first person to make a non-stop flight over the English Channel twice. To fuel his passion for cars and planes, he decided to start C.S. Rolls & Co., a business selling luxury foreign import cars. This eventually led him to meet Sir Henry Royce.


Autodidact, innovator, hustler – Sir Henry Royce. Born in Alwalton, Peterborough in 1863, Royce started working for the post office before the age of 13 to support his impoverished family. He began selling newspapers, but was soon promoted to telegraph boy.

rolls royce founder

At 14, one of Royce’s family members offered to fund his apprenticeship at the Great Northern Railway Works in Peterborough. It was an incredible opportunity for Royce that led him to discover his love for engineering. Before long, he had educated himself and created a successful startup making small electrical components, like doorbells and lightbulbs. Soon after, he bought his first vehicle.

What was supposed to be the symbol of a great accomplishment, soon disappointed him. Royce felt he could construct a much better car than the one he had purchased, and so he did. In the next few years, Royce would construct the first of his luxury automobiles under the company name Royce & Co. Ltd.

Affluence Meets Craftsmanship

It didn’t take long for Rolls to catch word of Royce and his luxury cars. Royce had already created his first three automobiles by the time they met, and although the men came from vastly different backgrounds, they hit it off immediately. After one ride in Royce’s automobile, Rolls agreed on the spot to sell as many cars as Royce could manufacture – all under the name Rolls-Royce.

So began the greatest car company in the world. Built through hard work, expertise, and patience – an approach that mirrors the spirit of those who put themselves behind the wheel. Come put yourself behind the wheel of a Rolls-Royce, at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Raleigh.

Meet The Founders of The Rolls-Royce Motoring Company was last modified: July 20th, 2015 by Rolls-Royce Raleigh

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