Once upon a time in a bar…well, near a bar…I was talking to a couple who had just bought a new Bentley, a name so famous in motor racing circles that even I, not normally given to huge enthusiasm for motorway cruisers, started asking questions about the technical specs. “Actually,” the friend told me “until my wife suggested we look at it, I had never heard of a Bentley.” Now this came as something of a shock to me, but then I realized that while we revere the name and particularly the history of the make, there are many “out there” who have little, or mostly no, knowledge of W.O. Bentley and his many achievements.
Some of the longer established manufacturers with a significant history do like to make much of it, as a way to reinforce their bona fides as proper automotive engineers, and set their PR department chaps and chapesses to the task of weaving into their current publicity, the fact that they have been providing horseless carriages to the nobility and gentry since the birth of the automobile. These people, who might be described as “PR wallahs“ by one of my predecessors, the inimitable Dr. Lawrence (is the collective noun for these folk “a wallah of PR persons”) churn out reams of breathless prose, unfortunately not all of it accurate. But, I digress.