Bentley Brooklands

What a miserable year 1992 was. Either John Major's government made a mess of the economy or a nasty European Union forced Britain into dire economic straits – you can pick whichever reason you wish – but either way the Tories were on the way out and the UK monetary system was going down the tubes. This was not a good time for Bentley to be selling expensive cars Like the Bentley Eight Mulsanne and so, horror of horrors, a budget Bentley was proposed, to sell for less than a mere £100,000! How on earth could they do it at the price!

If you love old-fashioned cars then you would have loved the Bentley Brooklands. Nearly everything about it reminded you of the days of yesteryear when a luxury car was packed with leather and polished walnut. Even the name harkened back to earlier days; the Brooklands racing circuit may have been an exciting place to spend a day during the 1930s but the last race there had been run in 1939! Perhaps this name was picked to appeal to an older clientele but it certainly did very little to raise the enthusiasm of a younger generation.

There was still quality aplenty. This car sported a 6750 cc Rolls-Royce engine producing 300 brake horsepower; despite the fact that this was a big, big car it ci ould still accelerate from 0 to 60 in about 10 seconds and reach 127 mph. It wasn't all old-fashioned either. The suspension was self-levelling, controlled by a whole plethora of microchips, and even the Aircon and instrument displays were computerised.

This was a brave attempt to bridge the gap between the old age of luxury when the price of a top of the range car was scarcely relevant and the new age of austerity, but when the average wage was £10,240 a year the price of £100,000 was still far too expensive and during it's five-year run only about 1400 Bentley Brooklands were sold.

In 1998 strains of trying to sell somewhat impractical cars at eye watering prices proved too much and Bentley ended up in the hands of the Volkswagen group who still, at least for the time being, assemble their cars in their old home town of Crewe.

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