Recently, Bentley Motors announced that they will be an Official Partner for the upcoming 79th Goodwood Members Meeting which will be held on April 9-10, 2022. The Goodwood Members’ Meeting is a weekend of motor racing of grand proportions. It aims recreate the 1950s and 1960s camaraderie and atmosphere that was felt at the original BARC Members’ Meetings that was held at Goodwood.
10 iconic Bentleys will be showcased in support of the event. The vehicles represent the 90 years of Bentley history starting from 1929 until 2019. With the growth of Bentley’s carbon neutral factory and campus, it is unsurprising that the famed Heritage Collection has grown as well.
The six new additions that encompasses the 72 years of the company’s history include:
• 1929 Speed Six, completing Bentley’s pre-war collection
• 1949 Mark VI, an example of the first Bentley built in Crewe
• 1963 S3 Standard Saloon, the most exquisite four-door of the period
• 1984 Continental, a drophead formerly used by the chairman
• 1991 Turbo R, that started the rebirth of Bentley as a sporting brand
• 2001 Arnage Red Label, the return of the 6¾ V8 to Bentley sedans
Bentley Speed Six
One of the company’s pre-war vehicles is the Bentley Speed Six. The 6½ Liter’s high-performance version, the Speed Six eventually became Bentley’s most successful racing model. Woolf Barnato, Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin and Glen Kidston drove the Speed Six to eventually win the 1929 and 1930 Le Mans. The GU 409, Bentley’s own example, was delivered in September 1929 and was built originally for a W.F. Watson and had a Weymann saloon body by Victor Broom.
Bentley Mark VI
Unveiled in May 1946, it was the first post-war new production model from Crewe and was named the Mark VI. Using the existing 4½-Liter straight six engine and independent front suspension, it wasn’t long before the Mark VI became the highest selling Bentley model with 5,000 cars produced and sold between 1946 and 1952. After 73 years, the Mark VI – AGO 2 – is back in Crewe. It has an H.J. Mulliner body with a two-tone green on black finish. AGO 2 is a key design link between the Embiricos Bentley and Mk V Corniche from the 1930s, and the R-Type Continental of 1952.
Bentley S3 Standard Saloon
In 1955, the S-Type eventually replaced the R-Type. It was an improved and updated version that had a separate chassis, straight-six engine, and a factory produced body. At the time, the standard factory-bodied S-Type saloon was priced at £3,295 which was around 10 times today’s annual income. From 1955 to 1965, there were three versions of the S-Type. The 2nd generation, the S2 had a new V8 engine, power steering which was given as standard, and the end of a manual transmission. The final generation of the S-Type was very similar to the S2. Its most noticeable exterior difference is the four-headlamp layout. A 1963 S3 Standard Saloon will be the one displayed with the heritage fleet and it is arguably one of the prettiest saloon body styles, it has a Garnet finish and is registered 176 FGH.
In 1984, the Bentley Continental was greatly influenced by the T-Series which was introduced in the 1960s. Bentley’s new example, A455 YGJ, came out during the most challenging times in the marque’s history. Sales volumes were the lowest in the company’s history. Bentley never compromised, however, and the model stayed true to Bentley’s values. The example was personally used by the chairman at the time as a company car. Significant changes on how the company was run and the use of the forced induction in Bentley’s 6 ½-Liter V8 revealed the shape of the Turbo R at the 1985 Geneva Motor Show.
Bentley Turbo R
During the early nineties, the popularity of the marque has considerably grown, which could be attributed to the success of the Mulsanne Turbo. Turbocharging has given back to the brand’s products their performance edge. At the time, they were considered to be the fasters, most comfortable, and most luxurious sedans in the world. The ‘R’ in Turbo R meant road-holding and it rode on the success of the Mulsanne Turbo. It was, however, given more power, a stuffer chassis, and it did not compromise on either luxury or quality. J101 PKL, an example of Bentley’s 1991 Turbo R is a great representative of the model that helped bring Bentley back on the road to success.
Bentley Arnage Red Label
In 1998, Bentley was bought by the Volkswagen Group. One of the first things the company did was to take the 4.4-liter V8 engine of the Bentley Arnage and replaced it with the gigantic 6 ¾-Liter V8 from the two-door Continentals. This created the Arnage Red Label which made its debut at the 1999 Frankfurt Motor Show, and they highlighted the example’s level of torque (835 Nm) which no other sedan can match. Accompanying the engine are the redesigned front suspension and bigger brakes., It was also equipped with a stiffer body shell. This specific example, Y662 SEO, is finished in Fireglow red and it also represents one of the turning points in the company’s history.
The new examples added in the heritage fleet simply means they now have a model that represents every decade Perfectly articulating Bentley’s history, the 35-strong fleet were produced in different manufacturing sites in Cricklewood, Derby, and Crewe.
Mike Sayer, the Head of Bentley’s Heritage Collection shared, “Bentley is undergoing the biggest and fastest transformation in its 102-year history, as part of the Beyond100 strategy. As the brand defines its new direction, it’s vital to be able to chart our journey to date and where the Bentley of today came from. The expanding Heritage Collection will play a key part in that process, providing driveable examples of every chapter of the company’s long history. We’re really looking forward to sharing the new cars with colleagues, customers, visitors and the media over the coming months.”
For the Members’ Meeting, Bentley will be based in the Aerodome and all the events’ media guests are invited to visit see or drive the Heritage Collection cars and for some refreshments.