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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 - June 2018
Bentley Corniche, 1977, #CBH31286
Mulliner Park Ward Two-Door Saloonr

Bentey Corniche

A tableau of all cars made to Bentley Corniche specification – from the launch of that model until it was substituted by the successor, i.e. the Bentley Continental – as regards right hand drive Two Door Saloons reveals that a mere 39 have been made. The designation Two Door Saloon on which Rolls-Royce had opted over the years was more or less forgotten and usually the term Fixed Head Coupé is used nowadays.

Bentey Corniche

The minicule number was a result that during the 70ies a trend increased which had been detected even during previous years. The Bentley brand had no real supporters among ‘top brass’ from the manufacturer's staff. There had even been the suggestion to give up any activities as regards a Bentley marquee. Those clients who did insist to order a Bentley caused shockingly expensive additional costs. On what were negligible sales-figures a considerable number of components had to be designed, tooled, manufactured and kept on stock. For example it wasn't simply substituting the classic radiator shell of a Rolls-Royce for the gothic one of a Bentley to arrange for a variation of identity. The radiator shell could only be fitted in conjunction with a specially made complete front bumper.

Bentey Corniche

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Bentley CornicheThe few Bentley Corniche that were made in the "30,000-chassis-series" are real rarities. A mere seven were produced – and even that statement is but half the truth. It needs to be taken into consideration that such were divided in righthand-drive and lefthand-drive variants. Martin Bennett in his tome "Rolls-Royce and Bentley, The Crewe Years" and Malcolm Bobbitt, too, in his book „R-R Silver Shadow & Bentley T-Series, Camargue & Corniche" have quoted that during the "30,000-chassis-series“ only six righthand-drive and one lefthand-drive Bentley Corniche "Two Door Saloon" had been manufactured. From th microscopically small number of righthand-drive versions this one almost for sure is unique because of an extra: “Ex factory” Bentley Corniche were not delivered with sunroofs (which is true also as regards Rolls-Royce Corniche, R-R Silver Shadow and Bentley T-Series). It was out of question, of course, that a client's desire for such an extra was fulfilled and Rolls-Royce outsourced such task to specialised coachbuilders. Which indeed makes for the almost unknown separation between standard "ex-factory" and "ex-showroom". An electrically operated "Perspex sunroof" which from the inside was covered by a second sliding panel like the on #CBH31286 certainly is a particularly elegant feature. 

Bentey Corniche

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