Bentley’s centennial celebrations continue with record-setting gathering

This is Bentley’s centennial year and the Bentley Drivers Club thought 2019 was deserving of a special celebration. At the annual rally—held in conjunction with the Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England—1321 Bentley automobiles gathered for a stunning commemorative photo.

This was the largest gathering of Bentleys ever to have taken place at any venue. The company bracketed the display with the oldest and newest Bentleys: the EXP2, the second car that W.O. Bentley made and the oldest surviving car from the marque; and the EXP 100 GT concept, recently revealed at the Pebble Beach concours. The firm also gave the recreated 1939 Bentley Corniche show car its global public debut as part of the event.

Every era of Bentley’s storied history was represented: the grand touring cars of the Roaring ’20s, built at Bentley’s Cricklewood factory; the “Derby Bentleys” built at that location following Rolls-Royce’s acquisition of the brand; and a full complement of the post-war Bentleys built at Crewe, first by Rolls-Royce and later by Volkswagen. Of course, Bentley’s full current lineup—the Continental GT, Flying Spur, Bentayga SUV, and Mulsanne—was on display in case any of the Bentley drivers wanted to add to their fleets.

Ron Warmington, director of the Bentley Drivers Club, said, “We were delighted to set a new record for a Bentley gathering with 1321 examples of this iconic marque in the incomparable setting of Blenheim Palace. None of this would have been possible without the close teamwork of all at Salon Privé, Bentley Motors, our own BDC, and, of course, the support of His Grace, the Duke of Marlborough.” Blenheim Palace is the Duke’s home.

On behalf of Bentley, the brand’s chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark said, “The sight of over a thousand Bentleys gathered in one place was truly extraordinary, and totally unparalleled in our history. I’m grateful to the organizers of Salon Privé for making this year’s event such an outstanding celebration of Bentley, and this gathering to mark our centenary was the ultimate finale. My thanks go to the committee of the Bentley Drivers Club for their hard work and dedication in amassing these cars, and to their members and our customers for making the journey and sharing their cars with us.”

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