Bentley is a name (amongst others) that conjures up visions of luxury and grandeur, fit for royalty and the aristocracy, from dignitaries to premiership footballers and of course the Kardashians. The British luxury brand has always taken immense pride in their craft and has stood by it with a burning passion.
W.O. Bentley was the kinda chap who believed that luxury lied in the Holy Trinity of automotive luxury, namely wood, leather and shag. With the latter being an innuendo-laden reference to the deep luscious carpets that graced the floor pans in Bentley’s of old. And if we were truthfully honest, that has always been the defining characteristics of luxury cars back in the day. Utter, nay whisper the word ‘Sports’ or Carbon Fibre and you’d be hustled out the front gate by a burly eastern European security bloke. Such was the exacting standards of Bentley.
Walnut, eucalyptus, maple and cherry; no these aren’t random items on mum’s weekly grocery list but rather it’s just a few veneer types that Mulinner keep around in the wood shed which as one report mentioned, Bentley keeps up to £250,000 worth in store. Only the top five to ten percent of materials produced meet Mulliner’s expectation are acquired.
But that seems to be a passing motion when you consider that Bentley’s spirit of innovation lives on strong as the Crewe-based crafts men have resorted to using stone – oddly enough, to craft its veneered dash trimming’s and as it happens, it’s a first for the marque.
Just as those artists picked the choicest wood, the same care and attention has been paid to the type of quartz selected for this endeavour. Naturally the British-brand sought inspiration from its former colony India where quartzite stone is sustainably sourced by stone masons. Sounds as exotic as a Victorian tale doesn’t it, but in reality that slab of stone is shipped back to England where craftsman match and grind the stone down to a thickness of just 0.1 mm thick. The stone is then ground and polished so fine that its almost translucent – almost.
Geoff Dowding, Director of Mulliner Operations, comments: “Bentley is the established expert in the handcrafting of wood and leather, and now we are exploring new, fine and rare materials to offer even more bespoke tailoring and choice to our customers. Stone veneers are another first for Bentley – but only the beginning of what we plan to do with this luxurious and unique material.”
Mulliner for the first time ever is now offering Stone Veneers in a natural finish, in four different colours on Continental and Flying Spur models: Galaxy, Autumn White, Terra Red and Copper. As is Mulliner’s reputation of coach building, they will handcraft the stone veneer bespoke to their client’s exact requirements. Quality and perfection is the name of the game that the boys from Crewe know all too well and will continue to uphold for times to come.