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Car of the Month

More on Bentley in these books:

Bentley - On the road 

Bentley - 50 Years of the Marque


Car of the Month - July 2017
Bentley Mark VI Cresta, 1951, #B167JN
Fastback Saloon by Facel Metallon

Bentley Mk VI Cresta

The designation 'Cresta' was coined neither by Walter Sleator  (manager of Franco Britannic, Rolls–Royce’ major dealership in Paris) nor by Jean Daninos (owner of coachbuilder Facel Metallon) or Battista Pinin Farina (the designer of the Fastback Saloon).

Indeed W.A. Robotham – a manager from Rolls-Royce – in his book Silver Ghosts and Silver Dawn described: "I would have liked to see the Bentley with a name, rather than a series of rather soulless Mark number, and registered the names 'Corniche' and 'Cresta'..." This statement - on Derby Bentleys made prior to World War II - from a 1970 publication by W.A. Robotham is proof that in 1936 the names were registered.Actually in 1970 Robotham critized in no uncertain terms "...Vauxhall were given the use of the name Cresta"!

The designation was not 'reserved' so to speak for the fastback saloons because there was an advert by Hooper & Co. during the final stage of World War II that they intended to build a 'Cresta'. 

Bentley Cresta Mockup

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hEven nowadays only cognoscenti are fully aware which sort of motor car is meant when the term 'Cresta' is used. This is based perhaps to a certain degree on the fact that only some 10 such cars had been built (although some sources state that up to 17 had been made). The company had arranged for a brochure on the 'Cresta - and that was on the Fastback coupé produced by Facel Metallon in France to a design by Pinin Farina, Italy.

Bentley Cresta Brochure

The 'missing link' between the Bentley's streamline project 'Corniche' from the pre-war period and the company’s impressive 'Continental' from 1952 no doubt has been the 'Cresta'. Hence Davide Bassoli did very well to describe that model in his new book Continental Journeys that is devoted to the fabulous Bentley Continental R-Type and S-Series built during the 50s and 60s. 

Bentley Mk VI Cresta

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