Only a few days are left before Lula da Silva returns to the presidency of Brazil, and preparations for his inauguration are in their final stages. Historically, the ceremony culminates in the President’s ride in a Rolls-Royce convertible, which takes him to the Planalto Palace. However, this year there are possible violations of the tradition: this is because the car – a 1952 Silver Wraith model – may not be in racing condition..
Who says so is the future first lady Rosangela (Gianya) da Silva. Lula’s wife said that the possibility of replacing the ceremonial machine was being discussed:
President Lula will be in an open car as per protocol if the Rolls-Royce is in good condition because it appears to have been damaged during the last inauguration,” he said this month in statements cited by CNN Brasil.
Giania’s statements, which justified a possible change in protocol by the age of the car, combined with alleged misuse by Jair Bolsonaro’s entourage, did not sit well with the current tenants of the Planalto Palace. In an official note, the administration guaranteed that the vehicle was “in perfect working order, and this state remains to this day.”
From Elizabeth II to James Bond films: illustrious passengers of the historic Rolls
Condition aside, there is no doubt that the Silver Wraith is a car with history. The model dates from 1946 and was the first Rolls-Royce produced in the post-World War II era. In total, less than 2,000 copies were produced. – an exclusivity that has made the car a favorite of celebrities and heads of state.
The Silver Wraith arrived in Brazil in 1953 at the instigation of then President Getúlio Vargas, where Rolls Royce won against other classic brands of the time such as Cadillac and Lincoln (which until then had supplied official cars to the President of Brazil). For seven decades, he officially held the post of head of state. including Lulu da Silva himself, who rode a convertible at his two inaugurations in 2003 and 2007.
In addition to Brazil, Silver Wraith has also served heads of state in other countries. This is the case, for example, with Ireland, which has used this model as the official car of the president since 1947 and the monarch of Denmark since 1958. At various times, she has also carried figures such as the King of the Netherlands, General and former President of France Charles de Gaulle, and even Queen Elizabeth II.
The classic status also comes from the various film appearances he has made over the years. From the famous Inspector Clouseau in The Return of the Pink Panther (1975) to superheroes like Batman, some of them have been characters that have led the Silver Ghost to the big screen. He even appeared in James Bond films (although not under the famous spy).. A car with a “license to kill” – and which can now be “stopped” by the new president of Brazil.