Admit it, as a car person, if you were forced to watch the British royal wedding this year, the only part that kept your attention was the procession of classic Aston Martins, Rolls-Royces, and Bentleys took center stage. But there’s another royal wedding you might not have heard of featuring Price Albert II of Monaco, and whereas the Brits stuck with traditional cars of the past, Albert’s will go with a far more futuristic Lexus LS600h L Landaulet that will use almost no gas during the prince’s wedding procession.
Lexus commissioned this project especially for Prince Albert’s July 2 wedding. With special honeycomb Kevlar and carbon fiber reinforcements to keep the car as serene as the full-roof production version, the LS600h L Landaulet took more than 2000 man-hours to complete. Builders had to strip the Lexus of some 20,000 mechanical parts, electric component and interior features, remove the original roof section, and mold an 8 mm-thick polycarbonate panel to go over Albert and soon-to-be-wife Carlene Wittstock.
In creating the single-piece removable panel, which weighs just 57 pounds, Lexus commissioned French aerospace engineers whose work involves molding curved window panels for fighter jets and helicopters. To get the fit right, the panel had to be cured in an oven while sitting on the car. After the panel had been formed, it was removed so the Lexus could be painted in a one-off Midnight Blue water-based paint. After all of the Lexus’s new parts had been crafted, it took 10 specialists working with Lexus engineers two weeks to reconstruct the car.
While Lexus doesn’t plan on putting the LS600h L Landaulet into production, it’s still cool to see the body style making a resurgence with this car and the $1.2 million Maybach 62S Landaulet after dignitaries all but abandoned it following the 1930s. If your goal is to see this car in the sheetmetal, fear not because the prince plans to keep it on display at the Media Centre and later the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco.