Bentley has re-built a one-off 1939 Bentley Corniche destroyed in WWII as it celebrates its centenary year. The ‘new’ Corniche will debut at Salon Prive.
What do you do to make a statement when your world-renowned car company is 100 years old? If you’re Bentley, you re-create a pivotal model destroyed 80 years ago at the outbreak of WWII.
The car Bentley has chosen to re-create is a 1939 Bentley Corniche – a car Bentley say is the missing link between the 4¼ Litre and R Type Continental – which was a radical step forward from the Bentleys of the 1920s and 30s, introducing streamlining to deliver speed and performance and the influence for post-war models from the R Type to the current Continental GT.
This 1939 Corniche was a one-off, but was involved in an accident in France in 1939, with the chassis heading back to Bentley for repair and the body staying in France to be re-built.
But on its way to Bentley after repairs it was destroyed in a bombing raid by the Germans on Dieppe, and that was the end of the Corniche.
But back in 2001, volunteers from WO Bentley and Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundations decided to try and re-build it, a project which was accelerated eighteen months ago when the project was brought in-house by Bentley boss Adrian Hallmark, and used the talents of Mulliner to complete the work as a statement project in Bentley’s centenary year.
The 1939 Corniche was a clear step in Bentley’s design language which is evident when set aside the later and now iconic R Type Continental. It is a pivotal car in the history of Bentley, demonstrating that even then, this great British marque was at the cutting edge of design and technology.
Mulliner’s stunning recreation of the Corniche clearly demonstrates our skill in restoring the greats from Bentley’s back catalogue as well as making beautiful personalised modern Bentleys.
The ‘new’ 1939 Bentley Cormiche will make its public debut at Salon Prive in September.