This is the first centenarian we are celebrating this year, and with this in mind we have neither skimped on the quality nor the quantity, while taking into account that it is an exhibition as being a part of “… in the Spotlight”, in other words the cars are displayed in the three temporary exhibition zones in the heart of the museum.
Visitors will come across more than fifteen or so historic and several modern Bentley cars. Among the emblematic pre-war cars, a 4,5-Litres “Blower”, a 3-Litres Speed Model and an 8-Litres Saloon. To display the post-war models, a podium will exhibit several coupé and cabriolet models, an S1 Saloon, a Mulsanne as also a few recent models such as the SUV Bentayga and the brand-new GTC. A collection of scale models displayed in showcases will complement the exhibition.
Bentley in a few words:
Walter Owen Bentley wanted to design a “fast car, a good car, the best in its category”. With this objective in mind he created, in 1919, the “Flying B” marque. As from its débuts, the Bentley enjoyed a major success and demand quickly exceeded the production possibilities. The halo of prestige above the make’s drivers – the Bentley Boys –was enough to create a mythical image, similar to the one we would come across later with such names as Bugatti, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari. The 3-litres machines were victorious at Le Mans in 1924 and 1927, with a further success in 1928 for the 4.5-litres. According to rival Ettore Bugatti is was “the fastest truck in the world”. In 1931 the company, which was facing a chronic capital shortage, was acquired by its arch rival Rolls Royce. It was the period of the Derby Bentley, so-called because they were built in the Rolls Royce factory of Derby. The Mark VI was the first post-war model, produced in the new factory based in Crewe. The Bentley cars of this period can be considered to be sportier versions of the Rolls. Since its acquisition by the Volkswagen Group in 1998, the make has developed into a classy and sporty marque, notably with the GTC. Worth noting that Bentley once again proved itself at Le Mans in 2003.