Grand Tour Of The Bentley Factory, Crewe
The Home of Bentley.
mr.goodlife and team were invited to step in to the world of Bentley. The factory of British luxury car company is based in Cheshire, England in a town named Crewe. Generation upon generation have worked in this very location building some of the best cars in the world and we were privileged enough to see how it is all done.
“Bentley Motors was founded by W.O. Bentley. The first car to bear his name pulled out of New Street Mews, London in 1919.” Mr Bentley had a very simple ambition – ‘to build a fast car, a good car, the best in its class’.
When we arrived in Crewe, we said farewell to our chauffer, Dave who transported us via the new Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase to the front door. Our tour guide Nigel joined us and introduced himself. Working in the company for 35 years, his knowledge and understanding of the brand and the history behind it was fascinating. We shortly found ourselves on the first stop of our tour, a significantly important room full of Bentley’s most precious motor vehicles, One being the very first Le Mans winner in 1924 and the first to win a race. Also parked up inside was the gorgeous Mk V and also Mr. Bentley’s own “Blower Bentley”.
After learning the story of the “Bentley Boys” and seeing some of the fine details that have made Bentley what it is today, we were ready to venture into the materials side of things, which really makes Bentley stand out above the rest. Here, we visited what Nigel refers to as “The Treasury”. It was a room with around £300,000 worth of exotic woods! Heated at a certain temperature and sorted by grain and location. These flat pieces would eventually be compressed, cleaned, polished and placed in the new cars with stunning natural mirror images that continue around from the dash to the doors. The buyer would be able to colour combine exterior colour with a specific would trim or finish. Bentley even showed us their new stone veneer interior trim options and my are they incredible. The stone, which is sourced from India is formed over hundreds of millions of years and there are a few options to choose from.
Made with beautiful bull leather, Bentley ensures each piece of cloth that makes it onto the car is defect-free and once it is cut and allocated, the state-of-the-art machinery elegantly cuts it to fit. Just on the seat header, the Bentley logo requires around 5000 stitches! Stitch-work and Seating both have their own lines, both of which we are seeing some amazingly talented craftsmen and women working at. The trick to getting the spacing right on the steering wheel is actually using a simple kitchen fork, the leather is marked and then hand stitched all the way around. The leather amounts to about 9 hides per car and even more for the bigger cars like the Bentayga and Mulsanne. Perfection in every piece and attention to detail ensure that when you buy a Bentley Motor, the quality of the interior is at the pinnacle of material craftsmanship.
The engine marriage to the chassis is also a thing to see. The W12 engine, especially, which is marvellous to glance upon in its raw form. The engineers at Bentley have worked over 12 hours to join around 3000 components. The result is quite simply 720 Nm of torque @ 1800 rpm and a 600hp motor that will take you to 200mph comfortably.
The cars are each marked with their own manifest and marked for their designated territories. Customers are even able to come in and see their individual car being created. It is a wonderful thing to have ordered a machine like this and actually see the intimate processes such as stitching work or trim and woodwork procedures.
Painting such a car is also a very special process. The Mulliner workshop enables just about any desire of a potential owner to become a reality. Got a colour in mind? it’s done. Want your name or logo stitched onto your seats? It’s done. From LED approach lamps to unique hide options for the interior, Mulliner have you covered.
For us at mr.goodlife, the best things in life are all about the small details. Our visit to Bentley showed us that the very small things add up to make an incredibly sophisticated, well-crafted machine. From design to implementation. From tree to trim. From mind to matter. From start to finish. If you are interested to see more, take a look at this page. Bentley.