Bentley: Who Are They Really?
Having surpassed the 100-year mark in 2019, the car manufacturers from Crewe have certainly cemented their place amongst the most luxurious car brands in the past century. Bentley is deemed both among the public and competitors in the automotive industry as being the height of comfort and luxury. The premium brand is surprisingly powerful whilst boasting classy interiors and the famous B-wings showcased on the front of the machine. Alongside Skoda dealership, Vindis, we take a look at some of the lesser known features and secrets behind this iconic brand.
The Bentley Boys
While Bentley today is known primarily for its comfort vehicles, many motorsport events have previously been conquered by the company’s vehicles. Who is the group that are responsible for these successes? It was of course no other than the Bentley Boys. In 2019, Lewis Hamilton was ranked by Forbes at the world’s 13th highest paid sports star, however, the Bentley Boys, which featured Capt. Woolf Barnato, J.D Benjafield, Tim Birkin, S.C.H Davis, Glen Kidston, John Duff, and Jack and Clive Dunfee, were unpaid. These men had a true passion for racing, moreover, racing Bentleys. Their relationship with the brand, which led to five Le Mans victories in eight years, was apparent. It was often the young men exhilarating attitude which helped both them, and Bentley, gain an outstanding reputation.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Upon their return back to London after their first Le Mans victory, the team expected a party. The boys were, of course, in a mood to celebrate. Alongside being the only British team surrounded by French and Germans, this was only the second endurance event these men had competed in. So, when they landed back in Mayfair, trophy in tow, they were irritated by the fact the bar had been left, well, dry — with the exception of Calvados and Dubonnet.
The Bentley Cocktail
- 1 ½ ounces of Calvados or Apple Brandy
- 1 ½ ounces of Dubonnet Rouge
- 1 lemon twist
In a glass, stir together the Calvados and the Dubonnet, pour over ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish and enjoy, just like a Bentley Boy!
Good as New
Fast fashion and disposable products have flooded the market in recent years. This is the complete opposite of what Bentley stands by! The manufacturer’s overarching commitment is to quality engineering. Considering 80 per cent of all Bentleys ever built are still on the roads today, it appears they are doing a rather good job. Also, despite the fact the brand may hold connotations of heavy fuel consumption and a lack of concern for sustainability, CO2 levels across the fleet have been driven down by 30 per cent in recent times.
No matter how much they may want to, owners of a Bentley won’t be spending their entire lives behind the wheel, and Bentley knows this. For this exact reason, they offer a specialised, one-off kit for their owners to fulfill their hobby — the hobby being falconry, of course. Bentayga falconry by Mulliner is, admittedly, a rather obscure optional extra, but it depicts exactly what Bentley is about — creating a car for their client, catering to their wants and needs during development. The flight master station, which is stowed neatly in the boot space of the Bentley Bentayga, includes a GPS tracking system, binoculars, and hand-crafted leather bird hoods. Don’t be concerned if falconry isn’t your forte, however. Bentley promise to appease customers by asking to submit their requests, and their bespoke service will attempt to create a package for any lifestyle or hobby.
Fly on the wings of love
Nothing depicts Bentley better than their B-Wings logo signifying both grace and superiority. Back, when the company was gaining traction in the early 1920s, founder W.O. Bentley called upon the help of close friend and designer, Crosby, to establish a badge that could not be fraudulently reproduced. Therefore, he requested one which featured asymmetric downward aiming feathers. Although ‘wings’ were a popular choice for many car manufacturers when establishing a badge during this era, rumour has it, Bentley’s logo was designed to represent W.O.’s background as an aeronautical engineer during the Great War.
Going, going, gone…
As previously mentioned, the company experienced great success in motorsport events and back in 2004, one of these classic cars was sold at auction. Christie’s Le Mans Classic Auction offered up Works No.2 Bentley Speed Six Tourer which won ‘The Double Twelve’ and this care was bought for a total of £2,784,741. A press release prior to the auction noted, ‘no other car has accomplished so much and, most importantly ‘No.2’ remains in the same conditions since its early racing days in the 1930’.
There is no arguing against Bentley being one of the biggest and most successful premium car brands out there. Their contribution to the automotive industry over the past 100 years has been immense. There is no doubt that in the next hundred years they will continue to provide us with even more amazing feats.