Crewe over-eggs the pudding.
Whilst the maker upon the end of this particular skewer cannot be held responsible for the quietening of the world, they’ve hardly brought anything positive to the table of late either. Values, like fashion and opinions, can change rapidly, and not always for the better. In a world obsessed by communication, attempting to shout louder than the rest is nothing unusual – though even with the volume up high, who’s listening?
Bentley, those Crewe based artisans who recently made me so covetous with their Flying Spur V.2 have failed me – convincingly too. Their new for 2020 Spur has been aided and abetted by Falsehood & Frippery PLC. Dimensions and garishness have grown. The verdant green eyes I poured onto the old Spur have now turned to a scarlet shade. My fists clench. And that’s merely on seeing the rear haunch.
And then there’s the Mulsanne. Once the favourite of the landed gentry, the sporting gentleman, even the Northern carpet industry captain, this motor carried that air of sophistication that only such bolides made by Bentley and Rolls-Royce could carry off with aplomb. A favourite of my younger self, if only for the Top-Trumps card game connections; those engine sizes and power outputs could top almost anything in the 1970s and ‘80s.
Once again, the latest version has become an ostentatious and over-egged pudding. Chocolate cake alone can be quite indulgent; why the need to pour over a golden tinsel with an added deep, luxurious, velveteen sauce? Unnecessary – possibly nauseous. The sheer size of the machine could rival a canal barge, and although the car should handle far better than any water based craft, where does one drive this leviathan?
Should I get the chance to try one on my commute, the ‘Sanne may just need articulations in the chassis. I could have the corrugated section painted in a contrasting hue. Naturally, Bentley make a long wheelbase version too; to wit, a kitchen or shower room to fit in this extra space? Given enough money, it could be done. Though the frying smells would be the devil to eradicate from that leather and drainage would belittle your status to just above a caravan’s chemical loo. Still, the chauffeur/cook could sort that.
But my main ire lies with this most recent manifestation called the Bacalar. Bentley’s most exclusive two-door is but a Continental GT that has been well and truly Mulliner-ed. Not content with twisting the dial beyond eleven, Mulliner can now offer three levels of over adornment: Classic, Collections and Coachbuilt, the latter evincing their fame.
A roofless Grand Tourer, handy for our world’s ever more inclement weather patterns, the Blaccar takes the Coachbuilt route, offering infinite possibilities. But when you’re purchasing one example of a mere dozen ever to be produced, one would demand the very best, whatever that may be, shouldn’t one? Did I mention the price tag? One and half million pounds.
Therefore, should the normal, everyday offerings of leather and knurled metal not be to your palette of taste one could probably ask for your arse to be seated upon woven bat wing. And for the privilege of driving around in something so arcane, dissuade the ne’er do wells who might wish to thieve from it by installing a shark tank in the glovebox.
Oh, and we’ll definitely have the rotating gauges surrounded by organic asteroid from the Pastiche Galaxy. One real world extra on offer is the river-wood from naturally fallen, five thousand year old trees from the Fenlands of East Anglia. Comes up a treat after a bit of elbow grease, apparently. Oh, and a bronze flying “B” badge. Not that you’ll ever see one of these Balacar’s on the road to the shops or sea-front. Firstly, all twelve have been sold and will no doubt end up in a luxurious lock up along with a handwritten entry upon the investment sheet.
Colour has always been a difficult choice for any purchaser and Bentley offer around three dozen hues for Mr or Mrs Normal. The Balaclava can be matched to anything Agent Oligarch should bring along. This one in Baby Sick, sorry, Flame Yellow is purely for show though one wonders if a discount was had for being shop soiled? If this car could be vandalised any more than it already is, will examples of Lady Penelope pink or I want mine as dark as my mistresses eyes lurk under a dust sheet, awaiting its only outing, back to Crewe for a service? I distinctly hope not.
In no way are my complaints hurled at those wonderful craftspeople residing in and around Cheshire for they have undoubtedly life skills that require as much nourishment as a typical Bentley hide. Watch any footage of Bentley production and the levels of detail are mightily impressive. But why have Bentley turned to the Dark Side, chasing and subsequently obtaining the kings ransom asked for such vile creations? When they sell but 12,000 cars per year in a market shifting 80 million plus, is Bentley Volkswagen’s loss leader?
Stefan Sielaf’s fish out of water, the EXP100 I mention at the end for it was hideous. Look what sartorial extravagance and diet of fish food garners – a bloated and bedazzled basking shark. I guess someone thought it the bee’s knees and would’ve snapped it up but this, along with the Contin-, sorry, Bacalar really should have been kept quiet. A car to be whispered about amongst those with far more money than sense.
Listen up, Bentley: Out here in the real world, no-ones really listening.