It all started with communication talking about me and how I love cars, as you all may know and how I discuss them every week on my Musical Monday’s community radio show 4-6pm on RedShift Radio.
I eagerly arrived at Bentley with my Co host and cousin Ben and we were met by Brad who worked in the PR/communication office. I introduced myself and then he led me into the showroom. I was then greeted by host John who was the one that would be giving us the tour and be the very patient man who would be answering all of the questions for the radio show a couple of days after.
We were initially led through the showroom to a very posh table with chairs made out of stitched leather in keeping with the Bentley branding. I sat down and had a chat about the show, my Instagram accounts @carenthusiasts.uk and @thegrandtournews [go follow!] and my DriveTribe work and my huge passion for cars. John then made us feel completely at ease, explaining he was as happy to talk to us as he was talking to some of the more high profile visitors including David Beckham, Arab royalty and Princess Zara Phillips.
In front of me was a wall with some Bentley customisations and features from some of the cars, A huge colour wheel selection and even a Bentley child car seat!
The ride in the Flying Spur!
John then explained how he had a little treat for us to start the day off, a ride in the Bentley Flying Spur! This Apple Green 6.0 litre twin-turbocharged, 560 horsepower was a beast! At this point, I was full of excitement, this was more then I had expected from the day. We walked over to the car and got inside, John started the powerful engine and we set off with the engine roaring louder than any other car I've been in! We left Bentley HQ and drove off feeling the luxury and hoping someone I knew would see me. The ride and the suspension in the Flying-Spur was so comfortable, you feel as though you're sitting down on a very expensive chair, it was so comfy. John stepped on the accelerator and the acceleration is crazy, it plants your head into the headrest and you make a note to return and pick your stomach up later! Everything about the car is just right. We asked some questions on the drive and we found out amongst many things that there will be a new Continental Convertible coming out next year in 2019, and that Bentley turns 100 next year and that they will be celebrating in true Bentley style, but how? We will just have to wait and see, one of the top secret things they have planned for the near future. Overall the drive in the Bentley Flying-Spur was amazing, it's a really fast car, but at the same time it's very comfortable and practical for your day to day needs!
A quick history lesson on Bentley...
After the epic drive, we went back to Bentley in Crewe and sat down again to ask some more questions! Here is what we found out about Bentley's history... Back in 1919, Bentley was founded by WO Bentley. Then in 1931 Rolls Royce purchased the brand and moved Bentley to Derby. The factory in Crewe was built in 1938 and was originally for the Merlin engine for the very well known Spitfire! Rolls Royce moved Bentley from Derby to Crewe in 1946. Bentley and Rolls Royce split in 1998 and Bentley was purchased by Volkswagen and Rolls Royce was purchased by BMW.
Some interesting facts about Bentley..
We found out that there are an average of 50-60 Bentley's made per day and that last year they sold 11,089 cars which was a new record for them? Cars are manufactured to order and go through a lot of testing and inspections and all are driven before being released to their new owner. All together there are 5500 people working in Crewe made up of 1200 contractors and 4300 colleagues. They have also just bought the land across the road to extend some of the factories. In an effort to be green and self-sufficient Bentley now generate 60% of their own electricity on site. Across the road is a third party company called Mulliner, and they make the bespoke items and paint for the cars, so you could walk in with your blue bucket and say that you would like a Bentley in this colour, and Bentley would take the blue bucket and see if it would diminish the brand or not, and if it doesn't they will take it to Mulliner and they will match it for you so you could have this colour on your new Bentley! Cool, right? John from Bentley said that they believe that, "it's not about the volume, it's about the quality."
They also believe thoroughly in family working! So some interesting facts, let us know in the comments which one was your favourite and which you found the most interesting...
After all of that, we were allowed to go around all of the models, go inside, try things out, and take pictures! So here is a little slideshow of the pictures! Which is your favourite car from below, let us know in the comments section...!
As you can see, the cars are so luxurious and some of the spec is so futuristic, like the New Continental, the sat-nav is in the centre and if you click a button, it will go back and swivel and then come back forward and now you have 3 analogue clocks instead. If you click the button again, it will do the same thing, but this time, it will just be wood for when you want a simple, slick interior for riding in style!
Not only did I get to do all of that, the showroom manager came up with the keys for one of the ultra sporty version of the Bentley Continental and asked if I wanted to have a rev of the engine. I got straight in and started to rev the car up to 7000rpm, the point where the exhaust would pop and bang! It sounded amazing!
All in all, my time at Bentley was absolutely fantastic. I was treated no less than a customer even though I obviously wasn't!
Thank you so much to Brad and John for the tour, the drive and everything they did to make my expectations better than they already were. Nothing was too much trouble and for that I was very grateful for the opportunity to visit.
The cars are made with such elegance and overwhelming quality, the CW1 showroom didn’t disappoint, and the staff were always super helpful.