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Visit to the Bentley Factory

Today is Prindivilles Bentley Day. We feel very honoured to be touring the factory in the morning and delighted to test drive 3 of the latest models in the afternoon. Bentley do not charge for tours but instead encourage a voluntary donation to St Luke’s Hospice and The Prince’s Trust charity’s

  • It takes 150 hours to hand-build a Continental GT and 400 hours to build an Arnage
  • Every single component of a Bentley is filed on computer in minute detail and can be tracked back through each stage of its development
  • Veneers are both book and mirror matched to create perfect symmetry either side of a Bentley’s centreline
  • Every piece of glass in a Bentley is given its final polish with finely powdered pumice normally used to polish optical lenses
  • Lacquer-spraying robots in the Paint Shop are programmed to simulate a human sprayer on his best day
  • Steering wheels are doubled stitched by hand using two needles simultaneously; the process is far too complicated for a machine. It takes 15 hours work to create one steering wheel
  • A full set of leather for a Bentley is selected and cut at the same time, so that there is as little variation in texture as possible
  • The trimming of each Continental GT uses 135 metres of thread, the equivalent of 28 Continental GT back to back, 1.3 football pitches or the height of the “London Eye”
  • Bentley Motors was founded in 1919 but the manufacturer did not make a complete car for 27 years – only engines and chassis
  • Bentley won Le Mans six times – 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930 & 2003
  • When Bentley chairman Woolf Barnato was dared to take on the famous Blue Train between Cannes and Calais in his Speed Six in 1930, he won the bet by not only beating it but by reaching his club in Victoria, London, four minutes before the express pulled into Calais
  • Bentley production moved from Cricklewood, London to Derby when Rolls-Royce purchased Bentley in 1931
  • Bentley employs approximately 4,000 people worldwide and the average length of service at Bentley is 11 years
  • Our regional offices are based in the UK, USA, Germany, Japan, China, Singapore, Sydney, Korea, Dubai and Mexico
  • Bentley are represented by 212 Bentley facilities worldwide; 24 in the UK, 38 in the USA, 52 in Europe, 15 in the Middle East (incl Africa and India) and 15 in Asia and Australasia, among others
  • Volkswagen AG acquired Bentley in 1998 commencing a £500 million investment programme to improve our factory facilities and support future product development programmes

…watch this space for this afternoons update

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