Bentley to continue its 100-year celebration at Goodwood Festival of Speed
I’m really starting to like Bentley. Like, really really like it. Initially, I always used to think of them as a competitor to Rolls Royce but with a lot more of British-ness. And now, I believe they’re that and a heck of a lot more ‘car company’ than I thought of them to be. I mean, look at their current stable and not just their commercial cars, but even their hardcore, stripped-out racing cars as well! Gets the 9-year child out of you.
And that's exactly what Bentley is aiming for. Pressing on with the year-long celebration for its centenary, Bentley Motors will be present at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, showcasing its rich and elegant legacy by presenting a plethora of some very special cars that they’ve developed over the course of a century.
To further highlight the partnership with the carmaker, Goodwood and Bentley have jointly prepared a little film that pays homage to Bentley’s more significant cars being driven around the Goodwood estate. The Duke of Richmond can be seen playing a little cameo alongside his butler, Monty. Sure Monty had his fun.
Coming back to the display at the festival. Termed Centenary Concours, a strong display of Bentley’s most iconic 30 models will take centre stage at Goodwood. The more quintessential among them include - the 4¼-litre 'Embiricos' Special, one of the rarest Bentleys around the globe, accompanied by the carmaker’s latest super saloon creation, the new Flying Spur. Other evergreen classics to follow suit are a Gurney Nutting Speed Six, a 1948 Pininfarina Mark VI, a Continental GT Zagato and W.O. Bentley’s own 8-Litre from 1930.
Moving on to the more extravagant section at Cartier Style et Luxe Lawn, at least six R-Type Continentals are to feature as the showstopper at this year’s Concours d'Elegance. According to the British carmaker, just 208 R-Types were produced and now they stand as one of the more desirable Bentleys in history. In fact, the latest Continental GT follows the three pillars on which the R-Type was based: the power line, rear haunch and sloping fastback roof.
Getting racy, are you? Heading on to the Goodwood Hillclimb will get your nerves to go crazy as four cars that glorified the pages of Bentley’s Motorsport history book will form the Bentley’s Racing Class. First up, will be the EXP2 - the debutant at Goodwood, it is the second ever experimental prototype, built by the man, W.O. Bentley himself. It is also the oldest surviving Bentley.
Next up is a racer in the Le Mans from the late 1920s - a 1929 Birkin Blower. It is one of the four race cars built for Tim Birkin, one of the four ‘Bentley Boys’. “No. 2” can be touted as one of the most valued Bentleys in history as insure-ing, not buying, just insure-ing one cost 25 million pounds. Driving it up the Hillclimb will be Katarina Kyvalova, the founder of the Bentley Belles, which is basically a group of female drivers who race historic and vintage Bentleys around the world.
Coming up at third is a 2003 Speed 8 #7 - the very same car that took the chequered flag of Le Mans, back in 2003. Holding reigns in this will be Guy Smith, the driver behind the 2003 Le Mans win. The fourth and the latest car of the lot is the 2018 Continental GT3. Based on the current Continental GT, this race car comes fresh from winning 1000km Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Race with Steven Kane behind the driver’s wheel, reinstating his position for Goodwood as well.
And finally, reflecting on its production pedigree, Bentley’s grand tourers - the Continental GT and the Continental GT Convertible, will follow suit in the Supercar Class. Driving with the top down will be Grand Tour Eboladrome driver Abbie Eaton. The Bentayga’smore powerful Speed version will also be running down the Goodwood road along with the new Flying Spur, both marking their debut in the First Glance class. Can anybody get me tickets to the Goodwood Festival of Speed now??!