Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Return of the Old-Guard Bentley

You’re looking at one of 550 freshly minted rolling estates named the Bentley Brooklands…new for 2009. This would be a more satisfying Bentley for you old school snobs that hiss and shudder at the latest crop of the “German” Bentleys – the Continental GT/GTC and Continental Flying Spur.

Your Pap does not normally like to delve into technical specs but in this instance, the fans out there need to know the most obvious distinction of the new-crop Bentley from the ones back in those patrician days when it was Rolls Royce/Bentley and not as it is today VW/Audi/Bentley.

To start, the Brooklands’ 6.75 twin turbo V8 is pure Bentley – well-pedigreed, with a lineage that cannot be questioned! There’s none of that shameful VW/Audi parts-sharing as with the Continentals. The 6.75 engine is hand-built in Crewe, with the basic powerplant dating back to 1959. It grew to the current 6.75 displacement in 1969. In 1982, the first turbo was added, and the twin turbos arrived in 2002, with further refinements last year. In the Bentley Arnage, this engine produces 500 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. For the Brooklands, additional tweaks to the engine give it 550 horsepower and 774 pound-feet of torque. 774 pound-feet of toque is nothing less than epic! This engine has the most torque of any V8 in the world! Your Pap likes!

Was that too tedious and too much information for the L.A. dahlings? Well, you can thank your Pap later because this little bit of knowledge is bound to save you embarrassment during the next cocktail conversation somewhere up in Trousdale.

To be honest, this Bentley is not your Pap’s favorite cup of tea. But then again, your Pap does not keep homes in the all worlds best cities nor does your Pap travel in social circles with individuals of a ten-figure+ net worth. And for those people, the Brooklands thankfully represents the Bentley brand accurately – genteel, stately and hella EXPENSIVE (it’s $400k)! Everything about this car reeks of affluence – from the fine wood and leather in such abundance as to give the nature conservancy an aneurism, to the individually-signed engine, to the svelte sheet metal and paint you could lose yourself in. This is the kind of car for which you’d be happy give your driver the afternoon off just so you could drive yourself around L.A. It offers complete isolation – what do you know, L.A. has no potholes and Santa Monica has no bums. Truth be told, your Pap does not think the Brooklands is really an L.A. car. In L.A., this car is a Bob Mackie gown in a sea of Forever 21 prom dresses. Your Pap would rather you keep this set of wheels at your One Hype Park residence, thank you.

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