World's smallest Rolls-Royce returns for repair work for first time since 2017
The Rolls-Royce SRH electric car, world's smallest Rolls created for St Richard's Hospital in Chichester, England, recently returned to its home factory in Goodwood for the first time since it started its service in 2017. The manufacturer carried out a 100,000 metres service on the hand-built one-off EV to restore its paintwork and other elements to the original condition.
The Rolls-Royce SRH is used in the hospital by children to drive themselves from their wards to the operating theatre. The vehicle has helped relieve anxiety for more than 2,000 young patients by transforming the otherwise intimidating journey to an operation theatre into a memorable and enjoyable experience. "It was wonderful to see (the car) back at the Home of Rolls-Royce and to have the opportunity to return it to its original, magnificent state," said Andrew Ball, Head of Corporate Relations, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
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The small electric Rolls-Royce was built when the hospital had asked Rolls-Royce if it could repair the original plastic electric Jeep that was used by its young patients. But, the car manufactured respectfully declined the offer and instead proposed to build a new transport vehicle of its own, for the hospital.
The Rolls-Royce SRH was then designed and constructed using a bodyshell in fibreglass reinforced with carbon-fibre and the brand's iconic Pantheon grille. Real bonnet strips were used by cutting them to the required length. The two-tone finish was applied exactly as it would be on a full-size Rolls-Royce. The wheel covers, seats and coachlines were all colour-matched.
The seat was hand-made from wood and its padding was upholstered in medical-grade vinyl, hot‑welded to eliminate seams that could trap dirt. A laser-etched RR badge and the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot adorned the vehicle to complete the authentic look. The vehicle took around 400 hours to complete and has a speed limit of 4 mph.
Post the service and repairs, the car has now returned to the hospital to resume its humble duties. "In its design, materials and manufacture, this really is a Rolls-Royce in miniature. It has come through four years and 2,000 journeys... (and) is a testament to the care and attention to detail that went into its construction," Ball said.