When you have more than a century of history, it’s only natural that you would want to show off a little bit. In its 103 years of car making, Bentley has built and sold quite a few extraordinary automobiles. The British carmaker already has a showcase for its historical models at the Bentley Lineage exhibition in CW1 House at its Crewe headquarters, providing a showcase for its heritage collection. Now, the luxury marque has repurposed part of the original Crewe factory site as a home for some of the most historically significant Bentley models from the last 103 years.
Called the Heritage Garage, it will house 22 cars from the Collection, currently spread from 1919 onwards but eventually focusing on those members of the fleet built in Crewe – everything from 1946 onwards. With the addition of the new facility, every member of Bentley’s Heritage Collection is now kept within the Crewe campus, for the first time.
Bentley also says with the Collection undergoing a significant development and expansion programme over the last 18 months, it now represents the company’s entire history. Visitors to Crewe will now be able to view an unbroken chain of Bentley production models, all kept in perfect working order and in road-legal condition.
The Heritage Garage is located within the original 1930s brick-built factory, previously known as the ‘project forum’, where models such as the 2003 Continental GT were planned and developed. The Garage is also being used as an event space for external presentations and internal briefings, with the exquisite line-up of vintage Bentleys as the backdrop.
The Cricklewood section of the Heritage Collection contains some of the most iconic pre-war Bentleys ever made, starting from EXP2, the second car built by W.O. Bentley and the oldest Bentley in the world. Two Blowers – one of them Team Car #2, the most valuable Bentley in existence – come next, along with a 1929 Speed Six, and the 1930 8 Litre that was W.O.’s personal car for two years.
The company says Heritage Collection plays an important role in its Beyond100 strategy by providing a clear picture of where the Bentley of today comes from. “Having now rebuilt the Collection to fully chart our history, we have an ongoing commitment to add to it with each significant new model we launch. For example, the Collection now includes the 2019 Bentayga Hybrid, which was both the first-ever plug-in hybrid Bentley and an important step in our ‘Beyond100’ strategy towards electrification. As we continue to evolve, we want our guests and colleagues from all areas of the company to be able to share the rich history of Bentley Motors. The Heritage Garage brings that history to vivid life and means we can actively reference our past while setting the course for our future,” says Mike Sayer, the Head of Bentley’s Heritage Collection.