After spending a couple of days in the 2014 Bentley Flying Spur, my senses were so overwhelmed that it was difficult to narrow in on just what aspects of this work of art to focus. With such a daunting task at hand, I took to the internet for to see what other enthusiasts, journalists and “gear heads” had to say. There’s nothing worse than re-telling the same story.
When reviewing an automobile with such history and majesty, it would be a travesty not to share details of the painstaking assembly and how that translates to an MSRP upwards of $200,000. With that bit of contemplation settled, the questions begs to answer, how could any “car” be worth that kind of money? Is the decision to spend an amount equivalent to the price of a middle class home, on a mode of transportation, logical or emotional? Is the fact that most automobile manufacturers will produce more cars in a day, than Bentley will produce all year, enough exclusivity to justify the expense? Lastly, does the way it makes the driver “feel” matter?
Once someone has decided that a Bentley is in their future, the car buying process goes a little differently than for the other 99% of car buyers. For example,unless you live in South Florida, New York, or California, the likelihood of a Bentley dealer being on “auto row” in your town, is slim to none. In fact, I only counted 47 Bentley Dealers in the entire U.S.. Coupled with the fact that it takes anywhere from 8-12 weeks to build a Flying Spur, exclusivity becomes and understatement.
The Bentley Flying Spur is available in over 100 standard exterior colors, 7 different wood veneers (from 80-year-old root balls of a walnut tree cured for 72 hours), 17 leather hides (European herds raised at high altitude and free from insect bites) and endless combinations of them all; it could take 8 – 12 weeks to decide on the color combination alone. If that isn’t enough, Bentley boasts that their paint specialists can match ANY color; for the more discerning taste.
The list of available options seems almost endless. With choices such as, picnic tables, lambswool rugs, hand cross stitching headrests, jewel fuel and oil caps, cigar lighters and personalized tread plates, it’s almost an act of futility to even mention standard features like ventilated seats, navigation and touch screen remote for the rear passenger. If you are in the market though and you you’re ready to design your own click here for the full list niceties.
With all of the creature comforts available, combined with the 6.0 liter, twin-turbocharged W12 engine that cranks out 616 horsepower and can achieve 0-60 times in 4.3 seconds (exotic sports car company, I mind you) some might conclude that a $200,000 + price tag is justified.
While the quality, craftsmanship and sheer beauty cannot be denied, the attention and respect, garnered from the whole of the parts, is priceless. While its common to hear horns blowing during rush hour traffic in Atlanta, to be followed up by a nod of approval from the guy in the Porsche 911 Turbo next to you, is anything but. Try pulling out of a parking deck on Peachtree in Buckhead at 5 o’clock; no problem in a Bentley, when the other drivers are so busy looking at the Flying Spur, that they yield the right of way in hopes of a brush with celebrity behind the wheel(only to be disappointed in this case). Finally, when choosing an automobile like the Bentley Flying Spur, I’ll go out on a limb and assume that gamesmanship likely plays a role in many of the purchasing decisions. Which leads to what may be considered a shallow, yet unfeigned justification to expend $246,245.00 on an automobile when more moderate levels of luxury are readily available. It’s that moment when the driver of a Bentley Flying Spur W12 pulls next to said luxury automobile at the traffic light and the driver looks away, only to ogle with either envy or condemnation upon your adieu.
Question answered; the decision is based on emotion. “Envy is the most sincere type of flattery.” – Author Unknown.
To be the envy of your neighbors, visit my friends Stan Mukuro, Greg Mabry and Christopher Tuckley at Bentley of Atlanta to design your masterpiece.
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