In Praise Of Wood Trim
When Rolls-Royce took the covers off its latest luxury liner, the Dawn, I was happy to see the acres of wood that adorned the cabin. Why? Rolls-Royce is one of the few who continue to outfit new cars with a bit of wood trim. As carbon fibre, aluminum, and synthetic materials (usually foil wraps) have come to dominate our vehicles, the use of real wood has become almost as niche as the manual transmission.
It’s probably down to two main factors, both my theories and not easy to prove one way or another…
The first is the rise of European luxury vehicles in North America from the ’70s on, where on lower trims wood was not often featured—maybe enthusiasts simply got used to Greyhound-grade vinyl? The second must be the laughable plastic woodgrain copies and cheap veneers that spread like wildfire through the ’70s, ’80s, and into the ’90s.
Anyway: wood and woodgrain in everyday vehicles is nearly a thing of the past. Do you miss the warmth of wood? Or do you own a particular classic because of its charming use of trees?
If you’ve given up on wood, however, just take a look at the panel that covers the Dawn’s convertible top…it’s stunning.