Our principal wedding carriage often selected by the Bride is our beautiful 1949 Bentley Mark VI motorcar. Her elegant and sweeping lines and dramatic all chrome radiator grill, the solid walnut dashboard and door cappings, take one back to an age of romance and style, before congestion and traffic was of any concern and when cars were an exclusive privilege of the few and more often than not as she was, chauffeur driven.
Indeed, those who rode in this car over the years past include Countess Reventlow, a member of the Danish Royal family. The Countess and her chauffeur must have made many memorable journeys no doubt wearing beautiful and elegant outfits, attending glamorous occasions in the Bentley during her ownership of the car in the 1950s and the car still bears the Countess’s family crest on the dashboard and grill, as a permanent reminder of Royal heritage before returning to the UK after the Countess passed away.
The Bentley then went in the 1960s to a serving Colonel in the British Forces posted in Germany, and returned to the UK to be run for many years by a retired British Officer in the Home Counties. She has been lovingly maintained and constantly restored and rejuvenated over the years by owners like ourselves intent on preserving the heritage of the legendary Bentley marque, still regarded with its sister company, Rolls Royce, as perhaps the finest cars in the world.
As today, when she conveys our Brides with such memorable grace and style to their special day, much of her life has been chauffeur driven, indeed in her original handbook it presumes as much stating “An owner would do well to instruct his driver……to attend an instructional course of two weeks duration at the Bentley Motors School of Instruction” in order to be able to drive and look after the car.
Bentley became part of Rolls-Royce in the 1930s and to this day the cars are still made in the original factory in Crewe, even though it now is owned by a German manufacturer having separated from Rolls-Royce in 2002, and only time will tell what the future holds for this iconic, legendary and unique manufacturer of luxury motorcars.
When one sits in the car, which is largely as it was 59 years ago, when it first emerged from the factory in Crewe, the remarkable opulence and luxury of the interior brings to mind the dashing romance and style of the pre and post-war era of society weddings, debutante and summer season balls, Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, David Niven and other wealthy romantic heroes of the Silver Screen, who brought colour and elegance to what was otherwise a rather contrasting austere period in Europe.