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An island legacy ‘Rolls’ on

By Staff | Nov 19, 2009

Brendon Finlayson shows off the pride of the fleet, the 1964 “Princess.”

Bob Finlayson was a boat engineer from New Zealand who came to Maui in 1986 with a dream. He established Bob’s Car Care, a well-respected auto repair business in Lahaina. Then, in 2005, armed with several vintage Rolls-Royces, he and partner Sandy Boothe launched Maui Rolls-Royce Classics Luxury Limousine Service.

Finlayson passed away in 2007, and Boothe worked hard to carry on with the businesses as best as she could until January 2009, when she was joined by Bob’s son, Brendon.

Although living in London at the time, Brendon felt drawn to return to the island to continue the legacy his father started.  He and his wife, Tenya, a yoga teacher, and Kadin, their three-year-old son, moved to Maui to help Boothe honor Bob’s memory by fulfilling his dad’s passion for both businesses.

Today, Maui Rolls-Royce Classics Luxury Limousine Service has four Rolls motorcars in its collection, including a modern day Rolls-Royce white stretch-limo and two “Silver Shadows.”

The “Shadows” are actually twin cars, as their VIN numbers are back-to-back, meaning they came off the manufacturing floor in England one behind the other!

Their fourth motorcar is appropriately named the “Princess.” She is a white, 1964 beauty and a favorite of island brides.

The aristocratic Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, a collaboration of entrepreneur Charles Rolls and engineer Henry Royce, made their international debut at the Paris Salon of 1904. Their marquee focused on sophistication with engineering perfection.  The elegant English automobiles were legendary for the smoothness and silence of their rides, with model names like Silver Ghost, Silver Dawn, Silver Cloud, Silver Shadow, Silver Spirit and Silver Seraph emanating quiet stillness.

Rolls-Royce automobiles are known for their craftsmanship. The radiator grille is made entirely by hand and eye — no measuring instruments are used. It takes a man one day to make a Rolls-Royce radiator, and then five hours to polish it. Even their engines are still made by hand. The meticulous attention to detail, the singular amenities and use of the finest materials are what set these cars apart.

The world-renowned symbol of the Rolls-Royce is the “The Spirit of Ecstasy.” Dubbed the most attractive and best-known motor car mascot in the world, she’s also known as the “Flying Lady” and has adorned the radiators of Rolls-Royce motorcars since 1911.

Apart from the luxurious materials and amazing amenities of a Rolls Royce Motorcar, another facet that sets them apart from pedestrian cars is their unstinting warranty. They stand behind the quality of their product like no other company.

One time an owner decided to take his Rolls on safari. On a particularly rough stretch out in the bush, the Rolls came to an abrupt halt and could not go forward. Upon inspection, the owner realized an axle had broken. After an arduous journey to the nearest phone, and realizing there was neither a mechanic nor a part in the country, he called London.

Three days later, a Rolls mechanic (in their signature coveralls) arrived, they returned to the wounded Rolls, and in a jiffy the intrepid explorer was back on the road. The mechanic departed for parts unknown to rescue the next unfortunate owner. The explorer expected to receive a bill for not just the part, but the travel and the mechanic’s time. In short, he waited for an invoice for a hefty portion of the Rolls’ value. 

Days past, then weeks, then months. Perplexed and feeling a bit guilty, the owner rang up London to find out what happened to the bill. He spoke to a very proper Brit who listened politely while the owner recited the litany of his woes and the rescue effected by the dispatched mechanic.

Then the Rolls’ representative said in a thick British accent, “Rolls-Royces don’t break axles,” and bid the shocked owner adieu.

Step into a premium Maui Rolls-Royce Classics Luxury Limousine, and experience a car that has transported kings, queens and celebrities worldwide for over 100 years. This is the limousine of choice for any special event.

Rides are available for life’s special occasions — weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, concerts, private charters. Think how much fun it will be to pull up in a Rolls Royce to transport friends or family from the airport. They will know they are truly in paradise!

Call 661-5225 or e-mail tenya@mauirollsroyce.com to arrange a private Rolls-Royce limousine ride. Treat yourself to style and class!