Bentley Celebrates A Century of Excellence
To have a car that was exceptional above all others in form, function and performance—this was the exacting standard and desire that propelled engineer WO Bentley to take the bold first step in establishing Bentley Motors in 1919. Since then, innovations such as the 85hp Bentley 3-Litre monobloc engine, supercharged 4.5L engine and six-cylinder 8L engine have been at the heart of brave pursuits and glorious victories by racers known collectively as the Bentley Boys and Girls.
The pivotal moment that would see the marque become a dominant force in motorsport harks back to 1924, when Bentley Boys John Duff and Frank Clement won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in their 3-Litre Bentley. That would prove the start of Bentley’s dominance and its first of five victories at the endurance race in seven years. Just as significant was the manner in which Bentley Motors has defined the tenet of British luxury automobiles, with handcrafted grand tourers that weren’t just beautiful to look at, but as luxurious on the inside as they are fast on the road.
Bentley’s storied history has seen the birth of many icons bearing its hallmark radiator and Flying B insignia, such as the Continental Flying Spur and S2. However, the R-Type Continental stands out as an example of how revolutionary design, engineering prowess and exquisite craftsmanship have come together to define a genre.
Built in 1952 during a time when keen British drivers were taking to continental Europe to indulge in a true grand touring experience on the open roads, the R-Type Continental was the first to bear the Continental moniker. Built low, long and with a lithe body, sloping fastback roofline and fins on the rear wings for aerodynamic stability, it was the first to be achieve the feat of cruising at 160km/h with four occupants before going on to a top speed of 193km/h.
The revolutionary design continues to influence Bentley’s timeless Continental line-up, and the third-generation Bentley Continental GT of today bears the soul of that original. Under the bonnet, the new Continental GT features a 6L W12 TSI engine with an eight‑speed dual-clutch for a faster, more efficient drive. Through metalworking technologies such as superforming, Bentley has been able to flawlessly sculpt the muscular haunches and defined lines on the car’s body, while enhancing performance and safety. It is no surprise why owners today continue to marvel and delight in its blend of agility, exhilarating driving and peerless craftsmanship.
In honour of a century spent pushing the limits of automotive excellence, Bentley has made available a package of handcrafted features for every Bentley built at its factory in Crewe, England in 2019. Dubbed the Centenary Specification, owners will get to enjoy this specially curated selection of design touches on both the exterior and interior of their cars. With a nod to Bentley’s 100 years of heritage and inspired by the tones of the metalwork found on its vintage models such as the 1919 EXP 2 and 1929 Birkin Blower, Centenary Gold is a refined metallic gold hue specially crafted to shine and reflect light like a piece of jewellery.
On the exterior of the cars, this commemorative styling can be seen with the Bentley emblems on the bonnet, boot and wheel centre badges outlined with Centenary Gold. The years 1919 and 2019 will also be displayed on each car’s bonnet and boot badges, as well as treadplates by the door. The celebratory touch is subtle within each car’s cabin. The same Centenary Gold finish outlining the Bentley emblems can be found on the steering wheel badge, key fob and gear selector.
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The special finishing can even be taken up a notch by way of a centenary welcome light and the option of a bespoke interior finish with Centenary Gold thread. Through a cross or contrast stitch, Bentley’s artisans are able to add touches of Centenary Gold thread throughout the leather wrapped cabin, including the embroidery of the Bentley Wings on the seat headrests.
While the Centenary Specification is exclusive to Bentley owners whose cars are being built as we speak, friends and fans of Bentley can turn their attention to the raft of Bentley Centenary events taking place throughout the year, all around the world.
Bentley Singapore 45 Leng Kee Road, tel: 6378 2628, singapore.bentleymotors.com