The tour began by showcasing the history of Bentley. I just loved seeing these vintage Bentleys.
Wood Dashboard Workshop
The wood used in Bentleys comes from every corner of the world where exotic trees grow for up to 200 years before being harvested and replanted by seven new ones for every tree. After the root burl has been steamed and finely sliced into 0.6 mm thick bundles of veneer, Bentley veneer experts travel to wherever it may be to check every inch, a process that takes two days. The final selection process occurs at Crewe when the veneer is chosen by the craftsperson who will transform it.
I had the honour of trying to replicate a piece. Can I say the skill required to do this is mind-blowing? You can see this in the video. The dashboards foundation consists of solid walnut, cherry or oak visibly running through the dashboard and overlaid with a choice of 10 different veneers. After sanding to create a smooth surface, each part is lacquered before being cured for 72 hours. When cured, it is sanded and polished again before being fitted to the car. Have a look at this for a dashboard experience.
Hand Stitched Leather Interior – Haute Couture On Wheels
The interior of the Bentley is just divine and the hand-stitched leather is one that can only be appreciated by looking at how it is done. The steering wheel alone takes a whopping 37 hours to complete. The skill, the time and perfection involved in doing this can only be described as Haute Couture on wheels. Yes, these people have to have the same skill as the top fashion designers in the world. There is no room for error when hand stitching the leather, and the final assessment before the car is released is done solely by hand. The reason for this is your hand is the most accurate tool to identify any errors that need to be picked up during production.
I was fascinated by the following stitching machine that embroiders the logo into the leather.
In the video below you can hear how long it takes to hand stitch the leather seats of a Bentley.
Colour Choice Not An Issue
The most challenging decision one has to make with buying a car is the choice of colours. Whilst I was at the factory there was a pink Bentley which really stood out. For me, in choosing a colour for your car it really comes down to where you are in life and the message you want to portray. For me, I am feeling the light blue at the moment.
See all the colours in action at the factory.
I am a lover of eyewear and I love to see that the Bentley comes with a dedicated eyewear box. So seeing it in production gave me a real appreciation of the work it takes to create the box and get the polished finish.
It Is In The Timing
Bentley has done some amazing collaborations with Breitling. The dashboard clock is Breitling and there is also a Bentley Breitling watch range. I know how much guys love their watches and there is an option to keep your watches stored in the car.