Among the numerous small obsessions nurtured, nay, incubated at DTW is a concern for brightwork. Here’s another example of the art:
The car is a BMW 425d, complete with the rather supernumerary, superfluous and unnecessary label in the rearmost sideglass. Isn’t that the kind of thing you’d expect of a lesser marque in the 1980s? (Prizes for finding the kind of thing I have in mind). We’ve reflected on brightwork here (very good) and here (interesting) here (shocking, frankly) and here (a bit technical but ultimately rewarding) but not here (more people need to read that one). At this point, readers might be wonder when we are going to get to the point.
That point-getting is now: the BMW’s tasteful satin brightwork is one (1) piece of material all the way from the base of the A-pillar to the lower curl of the Hofmeister kink. Now consider that Bentley didn’t manage to do that on a car costing at least three times as much. They used two cuts just to navigate the C-pillar.
Bentley used the same solution on the 2003 Continental GT as is found on cars costing a quarter of the BMW (assuming you specced the BMW with electric windows, a radio, rubber mats and interior courtesy lights). Another thing is to realise how impressive that feat is. It must be a pretty awkward item to handle during production and during assembly.
Is there a robot to put this piece on, using a jig and some little rubber cups? Is the item packed very carefully? I bet it is. Imagine all that effort and care nullified by the Grand Sport label in the rear quarter light.
[The photo shows a 2002 Bentley Continental R by Mulliner and not the successor car which is much less satisfying to behold. Is it really 15 years since the mighty Mulliner was on sale and new?]