Bentley's self-leveling wheel badges and other must-have accessories
By Jeff Salton
November 12, 2009
If there’s one thing Bentley owners detest as much as fingerprints on their door openers it’s recalcitrant wheel badges that refuse to align when the marque has ceased its forward motion. Worse still, they become impossible to read at speed because of their inability to stop spinning with the wheels. Thankfully, Bentley Motors has listened to the anguished cries of its faithful car-owners and has released a range of accessories that include self-leveling wheel badges that right themselves when the vehicle is stopped and can remain upright at most driving speeds. Other accessories include bespoke child seats, embroidered car covers, vented wings and that much-warranted jeweled torch (which shines a “B” so your driver can signal your pilot to lower the stairs).
Designed to further accentuate and personalize the appearance of a customer’s car, Bentley says each accessory reflects the attention to detail at which its stylists and engineers excel.
Self-leveling wheel badges
When garish accessories such as rear window stickers that read: “My other car is moored off Monaco”, or André Rieu’s latest CD, Bentley owners may indeed prefer the opportunity to subtly personalize their vehicles with Bentley’s new self-leveling wheel badges, offered to owners of Arnage, Azure, Brooklands and Continental models. The badges fit into the center of the wheel and feature Bentley’s classic “B” symbol surrounded by the Bentley Motors script and remain completely level and upright at speeds of up to 70mph. Once the car comes to a halt the wheel badges also automatically self-level.
Bespoke child seats
“Start ‘em young” could be the new Bentley Motors ethos now that tailored hand-crafted child seats are available for the company’s smallest enthusiasts. Proud parents may now commission a new selection of bespoke child seats (after conferring with Nanny) not in some frightfully hideous off-the-shelf textiles either, but with the hide color matching that of their car’s interior including, where appropriate, the same piping, fluting and hand-stitching. As a further option, a child’s name may be embroidered on the seat back beneath the Bentley Wings (although Thomas Whittington-Smythe III might stretch it a bit).
Branded car covers
Perish the thought that your Bentley would ever be garaged outside, but should it be stationed for more than 30 minutes at an outdoor high tea, one would suggest “covering up” to protect against the elements or wayward grouse frightened into flight by the hunt in the neighboring grounds. Bentley assures its owners that the car covers are also useful indoors (just don’t get them too close to the fireplace).
Bentley-branded car covers are available for the Continental Supersports and Series 51 GT and GTC models. The covers are branded with unique Supersports and Series 51 logos with the name of the model embroidered on the side. In addition, Bentley is now offering Continental GT, GTC and Flying Spur customers the opportunity to personalize their indoor car covers with their own bespoke text – for example, a cherished registration number, or the vehicle’s nickname.
For the Bentley owner who has everything (including self-leveling wheel badges), the Bentley Jeweled Torch (available since 2004) has been a notable hit with Bentley drivers and enthusiasts of the marque. In a typical zany Friday afternoon “moment” in Crewe, the designers have thrown caution to the wind and lasered a Bentley “B” in the lens. The lightweight torch retains its powerful LED spot beam but now has an extra dash of style and practicality. The new version of this compact torch is presented in a branded box and can be recharged from the car’s cigar lighter, naturally.
Vented wings accessories are probably as close as some Bentley owners will to get to “pimping” their cars. Available for the Bentley Continental GT and GTC (soon for the Flying Spur), and styled by Raul Pires, Bentley’s head of exterior design, the sleek, vented wings further emphasize the Continental’s sporting lines. The vents are positioned to the rear of the front wheel arch and are delicately cut into a newly-tooled wing panel and feature a black mesh finish. If black’s a bit “lower class”, an alternative chrome mesh is currently under development and will be available in early 2010. You can’t hurry chrome.