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While it is a wonderful thing for individuals to celebrate the heritage of a particular automotive brand, it is even better when discovering the brand in question is just as passionate about its past as we are.
This is encapsulated by Bentley, whose 103-year history is now on display as part of a new dedicated heritage centre. Described as the “Ultimate Bentley Toy Box,” the Crewe based brand’s “Heritage Collection” will now be part of one designated Heritage Garage. The site is situated in the centre of Bentley’s Crewe factory.
The cars in the collection consist of those early Cricklewood days from 1919 to 1931, the pre-war years from 1931 to 1939 when the company moved to Derby, and post war, when Bentley started producing cars at the current Crewe site in 1946.
It is also the first time people will be able to view significant chapters of Bentley’s entire production history under one roof. The growing collection has expanded within the last 18 months. It now includes 34 road legal models and eight race cars. All of which are kept in excellent working order.
Highlights from the heritage stable include the oldest Bentley in existence, EXP2. This was the second car ever built under the guise of company founder Walter Owen (W.O) Bentley. The pre war era is also complemented by the most iconic Bentleys of the time. Cars like the Le Mans winning 4.5L Blowers, a 1929 Speed Six and W.O Bentley’s personal 1930 8-litre.
The Crewe era shows a 1952 Type R Continental, a 1963 S3 Standard Saloon. Plus, a 1984 Bentley Continental Convertible as used by Bentley’s then Chairman. The latter two cars showcase the development of Bentley’s iconic 6.75L all-aluminium V8 engine.
Later years are also well represented. Cars featured include a 1991 Turbo R, Arnage Red Label, Mulsanne, the W12 Continental GT and Flying Spur. Also on show are modern classics, the Continental GT SuperSport, the first Bentayga built and Continental GT V8S of 2014.
So, if you ever find yourself in the UK, your classic car attraction bucket list just got that much bigger.