With its impeccable styling and beautiful interiors crafted from the finest materials of the earth, Bentley are in a league of their own. They are considered to be the ultimate driving machine, each vehicle oozing class and prestige. Over the years they have pushed the boundaries of luxury, with models complete with telephones, televisions and even a fridge to keep that bottle of expensive champagne crisp and cold. Here is a list of some of the greatest vehicles the company has graced the earth with.
The Bentley Speed Six
First rolling off the production line in 1926, the company took the original 6½ litre model and gave it a bit more firepower. This supercharged version became the Bentley’s most successful racing ever, driven by legendary driver Woolf Barnato dominating nearly all the podium spots at the 24 hour Le Mans race in 1929 and 1930. In March of 1930, the car was also tested in a more challenging scenario. While at dinner in Cannes, Barnato bet £100 that his speed six could get to his London club before the famous blue train could reach Calais. The car kept up its part of the bargain, reaching the finish line just four minutes before the train got to the French Port. Barnato collected his winnings; however the fines he received for illegally racing on French roads were substantially more than £100.
The Continental was first conceived back in 1952 and targeted towards the domestic home market. It had the same engine capacity as the original R-Type, just with an increased gear ratio and modified exhaust manifolds and induction.
Times have significantly shifted since then, with the modern model becoming a symbol of wealth and prestige. In 2009, the Bentley Continental Supersports was unveiled at the Geneva Motor show. It was a revolutionary concept, being able to run on both petrol and bio-fuel. Its 6.0 litre threw out a whopping 621bhp and could reach a top speed of 204mph.All this came at quite a price, starting from a staggering £163,000.
The name of this model lies deep in the history of Bentley’s successes in racing, with ‘the Mulsanne Straight’ being the section of the Le Mans circuit where cars could reach their highest speeds. In 1982, the model was born, promising to combine impeccable performance with unimaginable comfort, the ultimate driving machine. The original model had a 6750cc V8 engine and all features just a 3 speed transmission.
The model equivalent is deemed among the most lavish and luxurious vehicles on the market, an experience in it self just to sit inside one. Owners don’t tend to drive it themselves; they more commonly have a chauffeur. This gives the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the journey. The Mulsanne has been given a revamp for 2012, with the cabin featuring 17 different leathers, a flip down television, I-pads, privacy glass and even an executive telephone.