“If a car is locked up and undriveable, it’s no longer a car. It’s a machine without a purpose,” says Mike Sayer, Head of the Bentley Heritage Collection. “So that’s why one of the golden rules for this place is that we’re going to take these cars and register them all. The whole point of keeping the collection running is that it’s not a museum, the cars are a dynamic, usable asset that can help tell the story of the brand.”
To this end, part of the marque’s original Crewe factory site has been repurposed as a home for some of the most significant Bentley models in the company’s 104-year history. The Heritage Garage complements the existing “Lineage” exhibition in CW1 House, Bentley’s on-site showroom, providing a showcase for the 42-car-strong Bentley Heritage Collection. The Heritage Garage houses 22 cars from the collection, initially spread from 1919 onwards but eventually focusing on those models built in Crewe – everything from 1946 onwards.
The new facility means that, for the first time ever, every car in Bentley’s Heritage Collection is now kept on the company’s Crewe campus. The collection has undergone a significant development and expansion programme over the past couple of years, and now represents the entire company history.