Two important lessons we’ve learned about owning a car like the Pre-Owned 2013 Bentley Continental GT V8 we’ve been running this past five months and 7000 miles — and in two starkly different senses, they concern the special places it can take you.
On one hand, you can enjoy a very special lifestyle if you choose to join others in the Bentley community — such as the group I’ve just met on a three-day owner event called Bentley Extraordinary Drive that affords numerous chances to enjoy fine cars and the things that usually go with them.
On the other, the Bentley can make ordinary activities special, as colleague Allan Muir discovered while filling the Conti’s boot with plants, pots, tools and bags of compost for a garden overhaul. “Most luxurious ride to a garden centre I’ve ever had,” he reports, “although the boot could have been bigger. Everyone around me had an SUV…”
For the 15 or so people who did it all, the Extraordinary Drive was a chance to see Britain from the premium seats. It started in Crewe, where, incredibly, guests dined at the home of CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer, and progressed to the famous Bentley factory, where they saw Bentayga production in full swing. Some were already owners and several others prospective buyers.
Next, guests wafted down the scenic spine of England to the luxurious Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, then onward to nearby Blenheim Palace, where, after an afternoon of shooting or fly fishing, they were met, incredibly again, by the Duke of Marlborough, who accompanied them on a tour of his wonderful family pile. They took dinner, then went back to the Manoir. The final day was at Silverstone, to meet the Bentley GT racing team’s drivers and see them race. For all this, the guests paid £7000 a couple; it probably shows the completeness of my immersion that this didn’t strike me as too bad. It was certainly enjoyable.