Bentley’s Centenary Celebrations Through New York City Included A Head-Turning Parade of Bentleys Old and New
Photos and words by Atif Kazmi for Por Homme
Bentley isn’t done with their 100th birthday just yet as the most recent round of celebrations took place this past weekend spanning several New York City boroughs. The festivities started at Citi Field with a massive gathering of classic, modern, and yet-to-be released Bentleys. Current owners were invited to bring their own cars for the historic moment. Once private tours of the stadium and breakfast finished, everyone was handed a route guide and a Bentley-branded flag as we made our way out to our respective vehicles. Before the parade even began, we were able to soak in some of the brand’s history. The lot was filled with a diverse run of Crewe-built cars including the T-Series, Arnage, Brookland, Continental GT, and beyond. The new-generation GT and soon-to-come Flying Spur were in the mix as well. I personally had the keys to a 2020 Bentley Continental GT V8 in coupe form. We’ve covered it in the past but to experience it first-hand in the New York City and Northern New Jersey areas where many will land into the hands of customers reaffirmed our previous thoughts — this is the Grand Tourer to have in your driveway.
We went from Queens to Brooklyn’s Belt Parkway and Brooklyn Bridge before entering Lower Manhattan and making our way into Brookfield Place. Imagine somewhere between fifty to a hundred cars driving together (as possible) throughout New York City boroughs. It sounds like a mission but one that would get the attention of anyone passing by. Now imagine it’s a parade of Bentleys only and then toss in the occasional helicopter fly over to ensure this occasion’s being full documented. It was quite the experience, one I’m not sure any other carmaker could or should try. The majority aren’t hitting a hundred years anytime soon and their histories simply don’t warrant such ambitious undertakings.
Once we arrived at Brookfield Place, Bentley reserved an entire floor in the parking garage to ensure that no matter what direction you looked, Bentley wings were all you could see. Outside, the public was getting up close and personal with a few of Crewe’s modern gems on one side and walking through a concours on the other. On display was the recording-setting Bentley Continental GT from Pike’s Peak as well as the Bentley EXP 100 GT Concept — Bentley’s ambition take on the future of Grand Touring. The new GT, Flying Spur, and Bentayga Hybrid were grabbing attention as well.
Vintage Bentleys in pristine condition were on display with some owners ready to give an oral history of their prized vehicles. Boy, if these cars could talk.
See more from Bentley’s takeover of New York City in the gallery above.