Crewe, Cheshire - Bentley has celebrated its partnership with that most English of institutions, the Jockey Club, and its premier steeplechasing event, the Cheltenham Festival, with this one-off Bentayga by Mulliner.
For the first time, in fact, the Bentayga makes sense as a sort of very, very upmarket Range Rover and its Mulliner bespoke division has made the most of that, channeling Bentley styling cues from the 1920s and the Jockey Club’s 268 year history into something so English it’s just about one cliche short of a caricature.
The exterior is finished with the closest the Crewe paint shop could get to British Racing Green in a metallic finish, accented by the Blackline trim package (chrome simply wouldn’t work for this understated look) and 21 rims, painted black with diamond-turned highlights.
Inside, specially woven tweed fabric sets off dark green and tan leather, with trim elements in that most traditional of veneers, burr walnut, embellished with straight-grained ‘picture frame’ cross-banding - a technique seen on some of the antique furniture in the Jockey Club’s private rooms.
Light blue contrast stitching on the door panels and seat quilting brings up the muted colours of the tweed, and each seat has an intricately embroidered horse and jockey emblem, echoed in a solid gold horse graphic on the passenger’s side veneer panel of the dashboard.
While Mulliner has no plans to build another Cheltenham-inspired Bentayga, it’s a superb evocation of classic pre-war English coachbuilding in a modern setting, an illustration of what Mulliner can do for customers who insist that a Bentley should reflect a traditional English standard of bespoke motoring.
Well done, chaps.