Journal: In Praise Of Wood Trim

In Praise Of Wood Trim

By Petrolicious Productions
September 10, 2015

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. 

Image sources:,


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Darin Spyderdog
Darin Spyderdog(@darinspyderdog)
6 years ago

This is exactly where the new jags fall short: wheres the wood? I’m keeping my old one until they figure that out. You simply can’t have a real live luxury driving experience touching plastic. There’s NOTHING in the world like a wood steering wheel

Corey Kononchuk
Corey Kononchuk(@fb_10100900438476216)
6 years ago

I love the wood trim in my Audi RS6. Most people prefer the carbon fiber trim for the “performance” look (it’s the only use of carbon fiber in the car apart from the airbox/engine cover) but Audi is one of few manufacturers who continue to use real, actual wood inlays and I appreciate it!

James Wieler
James Wieler(@jameswieler)
6 years ago

The first pic is a Ferrari but what car is that in the second picture?

Mindaugas Caplinskas
Mindaugas Caplinskas(@fb_10153353946744342)
6 years ago

I really like MB 300 SE with speedo/tacho casing from real wood. If we talk not only about interior than Riva Aquarama is my favorite mankind creation from wood.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger(@gtrslngr)
6 years ago

Methinks thy complaint may be a bit over stated good sirs . Mercedes , BMW [ the wood trim in the i3 is an architectural sight to behold ] , Volvo , Cadillac , Maserati , ( cough ) Lincoln , Infiniti , Lexus etc etc etc all offer wood trim either as standard or an option . Heck even my lowly Mercedes’s interior [ as in its not an S , G or SL lowly ] is loaded from front to back with beautiful hardwood trim . Sure they’re laminated not solid but then again so is Rolls Royce’s . To find solid wood trim you’ll have to hope the revival of Bristol comes about … otherwise …. laminated wood it will be .

But hey .. if we’re going to bemoan the loss of wood … hows about Woodies ? As in genuine wood .. not the later vinyl and/or painted to look like wood versions .

Nathan Leland
Nathan Leland(@fb_1021010292)
6 years ago

Why limit it to just the interior when there are beauties like this…comment image

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger(@gtrslngr)
6 years ago
Reply to  Nathan Leland

I’ll call your Talbot woody and raise you …

Kirk Robinson
Kirk Robinson(@81fiat)
6 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

Joe Harmon trumped everyone at this game, I think, using an innovative woven wood composite material not just for the body and structure of his car, but also for mechanical components like the leaf springs, A-arms, steering arms, axles, and other components. Its pretty incredible!