words Alexa Wang
At the London Motor Show, in August 1919, the chassis of a new vehicle was unveiled, one that would change the motoring world forever. Now in its hundredth year of operating, automotive enthusiasts across the globe would be fairly confident that they know everything there is to know about the car manufacturer Bentley, however, there are a number of unknown facts regarding the brand, that Skoda dealership, Vindis divulge below …
It’s more than just a car
Bentley appreciate the fact their drivers do more than simply drive in their car. For this 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.
Return on your investment
In automotive auctions, Bentley’s have established a reputation for fetching a considerable sum. In July 2004, during Christie’s Le Mans Classic Auction, the Works No.2 Bentley Speed Six Tourer, which laid claim to second place at Le Mans in 1930 and won ‘The Double Twelve’ was sold for £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’.
The Bentley Boys, a group of young automotive enthusiasts helped cement the Bentley name into the hall of fame. 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.
The flying wings
Everybody recognises Bentley via their badge. 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.
The party boys
On their way back from London, the Bentley Boys were ready to celebrate. They had just achieved their first Le Mans victory, and they were the only British team competing in the Pays de la Loire. 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 and a half ounces of Calvados or Apple Brandy
- 1 and a half ounces of Dubonnet Rouge
- 1 lemon twist – garnish
In a tall glass add ice and pour over calvados and dubonnet. Garnish and enjoy, just like a Bentley Boy!
A brand made of quality
Bentley’s are built with longstanding ability in mind. 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.
More than a hundred years on from their invention and Bentley are still amazing us in the sheer levels of class they produce. What the next hundred years hold we are unsure of, but we are certainly excited.