Bentley Opens New Heritage Garage

Bentley Opens New Heritage Garage to Honor History



October 13, 2002

The Heritage Garage, a facility dedicated to showcasing the most significant models from Bentley's 103-year history, has opened on the site of the original Crewe factory. The Heritage Garage complements the existing Bentley Lineage exhibition in CW1 House, which currently houses 22 cars from the Bentley Heritage Collection built from 1919 onwards, but it will gradually feature 42 cars from the Collection. Eventually, the focus will be on post-1946 vehicles built in Crewe.

In addition, by next summer, the Collection will be divided into three areas, with important Cricklewood models (1919-31) and Derby-era Bentlys (1931-39) on display in the soon-to-be-completed CW1 House, while the Heritage Garage houses Crewe-built models. Meanwhile, eight motorsport cars from the Collection - including Speed 8s from Le Mans, Ice Speed Record and Pikes Peak cars and GT3 racers - are likely to be placed on special display.

Every vehicle in the Heritage Collection, previously stored off Bentley's campus, are now housed together in this new facility which underwent an extensive 18-month programme of expansion. The entire company history is represented on this site.

As Bentley continues the transformative journey of its ‘Beyond 100’ strategy, the Heritage Collection plays a key role in demonstrating where today's Bentleys have come from. People visiting Crewe, whether they are customers, VIPs or media workers, are able to witness an unbroken chain of Bentley production models in perfect condition and ready for public road use. In addition, vehicles from the Heritage Collection are displayed and entered in major events around the world, from Pebble Beach to Mille Miglia.


A New Showcase

The Heritage Garage is located in a brick-built factory built in the 1930s, which was formerly the 'project forum', a memorable location where models such as the 2003 Continental GT were planned and developed. Bright and open, it becomes the focal point of the factory as you walk through it. Today, the reborn Heritage Garage is used as an event space for external presentations and internal briefings, surrounded by beautiful vintage Bentleys.

Mike Sayer, the Head of the Heritage Collection, commented: ‘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.’

The Heritage Collection

All 42 cars in the Collection are significant in marking Bentley's history. The Cricklewood section of the Heritage Collection contains some of the most iconic pre-war Bentleys on the planet. The starting point is 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.

Bentley’s Mark VI was both the first car to emerge from the Crewe factory and an instant sales success. The Heritage Collection example, AGO 2, is finished in two-tone green over black and provides a vital link between the 4 ?-litre Embiricos of 1938 and the iconic Type R Continental of 1952.

The Jack Phillips designed aluminium alloy V8 engine, which made its debut in 1959, provides another important narrative link. In naturally-aspirated form, it powered the Heritage Collection’s elegant 1963 S3 Bentley Standard Saloon, 176 FGH, and the convertible Bentley Continental of 1984 ? A455 YGJ being the Chairman’s own company car.  

Bentley’s sales and global fame saw a dramatic improvement when the 6.75-litre V8 was turbocharged. Examples of this powertrain in the Heritage Collection include the 1991 Turbo R and the 2001 Arnage Red Label, the first model produced under Volkswagen Group ownership. Finished in Fireglow red, Bentley’s Heritage example marks one of the turning points in the company’s history.

The 6.75-litre V8 continued the Bentley tradition of effortless torque all the way through to 2020. In its final iteration as the powertrain for the Mulsanne, the leviathan V8 developed 512PS and 1020Nm of torque, for a top speed of 184 miles an hour and a 0-62mph time of 5.1 seconds. The Heritage Collection’s Mulsanne was the second-ever model off the production line, chassis 000002. It is finished in Imperial Blue with an interior trimmed in Shortbread.

The Continental GT, launched in 2003, sparked a revolution for Bentley and Crewe, propelling the company from a maker of less than 1,000 highly coachbuilt cars a year to more than ten times that figure. The Heritage Collection’s chassis VIN 20001, a right-hand drive model in Cypress Green, was the very first Continental GT off the Crewe production lines.

Bentley soon became noted for the compact and immensely powerful 6.0-litre W12 engine, just as it had been for the 6.75-litre V8. Heritage Collection models powered by the W12 include three generations of Flying Spur and both generations of the high-performance Continental Supersports coup?. Also powered by the versatile W12 is the 2016 ‘first-of-line’ Bentayga, chassis 00001, one of the most significant models launched in Bentley’s 103-year history.

Meanwhile, the advanced Bentley 4.0-litre V8 is represented in the Heritage Collection by the Continental GT V8S, launched in 2014. The first all-new Bentley V8 since the mid-1950s, a newer version of 4.0-litre V8 today is offered across every Bentley model line.