Cars of 1998
More on Bentley in these books:
In their issue from 4th March 1971 the English magazine 'AUTOCAR' heralded: "It was singularly appropriate that just when the overall fortunes of the company had suffered a devastating setback, Rolls-Royce should launch a new car". Indeed the managing director David Plastow (later Sir David Plastow) had taken the bold decision of introducing a new model when merely a few weeks had passed since news of Rolls-Royce having called in the receiver had been a nasty shock. Fashionable Nice in France had been chosen for the Grand Style debut of the new model. It was a cleverly chosen location with easy access to coast roads winding along Cote d'Azure offering breathtaking views. Such roads were well known by their name: Corniche – and that was the designation of the new model, too. Introduced in 1971 the year 2021 marks the 50th Anniversary of Rolls-Royce Corniche and Bentley Corniche.
In hindsight it had been 'a calculated risk'. The Crewe manufacturer's team in 1971 didn't show an entirely new development. Management and engineers had re-fined the two door variants of Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow I and Bentley T1 with a 10% more powerful engine, up-dated interior and revised trim details.
The designation wasn't entirely new either. The name Corniche had been registered by the company even prior to World War II. It should have been launched with a Bentley model sporting tremendously advanced streamline-coachwork to a design by Georges Paulin:
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