The first Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé destined for the USA has been bought at a charity auction held during the annual Naples Winter Wine festival in Florida for US$2m.

More than US$1.6m will go to the Naples Children and Education Foundation, which supports charitable and educational programmes to improve the physical, emotional and educational lives of underprivileged or at-risk children.

The car was bought by a resident of Naples, who will take delivery of the car later this year.

The winning bid of US$2m is the single highest price paid for any lot in the event’s seven-year history and, it is believed, makes this Phantom Drophead Coupé the most expensive new car ever sold in the USA.

The auction, which took place on 27 January, was staged at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples. It was attended by many of the world’s finest vintners, chefs, television and film personalities, as well as wine lovers and culinary enthusiasts from all over the USA.

Rolls-Royce launched the new Phantom Drophead Coupé at the Detroit Motor Show earlier in January 2007. The two-door, four-seat convertible is hand made at the company’s headquarters in Goodwood, England.

Speaking at the event, Graeme Grieve, Sales and Marketing Director, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “This was a unique opportunity for someone to secure the first US car ahead of the current waiting list for the Drophead Coupé, and make a very generous donation to an important charity in the process. Everybody at Rolls-Royce is delighted with the result.”