Getting a call from Bentley Motors always puts a smile on my face as they produce one of my favorite cars… the Continental GT.
This time it was to document a visit from a few Italian Automotive Journalists and their tour around the Crewe based factory. Although the factory doesn’t run to full capacity on Fridays there were still plenty of activity in certain areas.
Starting off at the factory we were taken around by our host through the history and early cars which they still use and ship around the world for events and rallies.
(Factory tours are exclusively available to Bentley owners)
Although alot of modern technology and processes are used in creating a Bentley the craftsmanship has never left the place and is still fascinating to watch these men and women at work.
Just for the steering wheel alone there was a large area of said craftsmen and women creating each individual wheel tailored to the customers wishes and spec.
Ever stitch on the wheel is done all by hand. The only exception to this is the stitch you can see just above the left thumb on the darker material. This is because of the tension within the leather and so a machine is used. Above you can see the holes being punched, each one by hand before stitching.
Staying in this area there where the machinists stitching the leather seat covers.
Again each set of covers are made for the customer, no off the shelf covers or anything else for that matter in Bentley.
I think a fairly new option (if I heard right) was the availability to have your seats cross stitched.
Again all done by hand. The image above right shows the slack being taken out and the right tension in the stitch being applied. To give you an idea of time and attention to detail; to finished Bentley’s largest model the Mulsanne would take 70+ man hours to cross stitch.
A massive workshop is the leather prep, where grading, preparation of the hides takes place… again attention to detail is paramount and a joy to watch.
Never get tired of visiting the factory and seeing behind the scenes of a this true British brand. With the unavailing of the EXP 10 Speed Concept at Geneva the future looks very bright indeed. Along with the new SUV which goes into production within 12 months Bentley is looking stronger.
I mentioned earlier on that the Continental is definitely one of my favorite cars and it has had a facelift just to keep things fresh. (you can see it here)
Here are a few images of the Continental taken for the Italian journalists.
I’ll be keeping an eye out of the various Italian magazines that some of the images will feature in and will no doubt try and post some examples.
One final image for you to look at….
Till next time