So what does a color say about a car? Or should I say ‘what kind of an impact does color have on a car’? Funny, I didn’t set out to answer a question I never asked but it seemed to be both posed and answered when a 2012 Bentley Continental GTC
turned up on my doorstep.
I was expecting black, red, a deep grey named something like Orkney Islands Dove Metallic but no, Bentley had other plans. Purple.
In Bentley speak, it’s ‘Magenta’. And the contrasting hides of the interior, which looked black to me, were ‘Beluga’.
So in my mind, I was driving something painted by the NBA or Premier League trimmed in a Russian Delicacy. But hey, that’s just me . . . I’m boring and partial to blue. Had it been my dollars, pounds or Real, I would have gone with a funky shade of blue with some sort of contrasting tan derivation. So what happened in my time with Barney the Purple GTC was a little surprising. Yes, people came up to me but not to talk about the car.
A woman in a grocery store parking lot was so moved by the color that she busted out a real camera (no smart phone special) and did her best Ansel Adams impression. With that kind of dedication, I felt she earned some parked seat time. That’s where she noticed Purple was not just on the outside. The Bentley crest on the headrests were embroidered in, you guessed it, Purple.
The crew at the museum
were not as kind. Most were in disbelief. Others felt I was giving up the show and going to be a judge on ‘America’s Next Top Model’.
Sitting at a light with the top down in Santa Monica traffic I hear a deep voice behind me: “I am sure you already know that is a beautiful color’. A little startled thinking the Wizard himself was talking from behind the curtain; I turn around to see a guy no more than 20 in the car next to me eyeing the GTC like In N Out Burger the day after lent.
There was a lesson here and it wasn’t that color influences the look of a car. It was the details. You see, the German market GTC that I was fortunate enough to be piloting for a short period of time was accessorized. Yes, accessorized. ‘Mulliner’ Spec 21” polished aluminum wheels. Chromed Grille. ‘Magenta’ embroidery on the headrests. Chromed Lower Bumper ‘Matrix’ Style Grille. ‘Magenta’ Contrasting Stitching. Contrast Stitch Dark Grey Canvas Roof. All optional and a striking example of ‘more than the sum of its parts
And while we are on the subject of striking, let’s talk Gas caps. Something you really don’t notice. Especially on Fords these days – they don’t exist. But first, a disclaimer: Comedians employ the tool of exaggeration in telling stories but what I type here, 100% true.
Rewind a couple of years and a long time Bentley customer picking up his latest steed from Crewe and while he loved the whole of it, he felt something was missing. That something? A gas cap that lived up to the stature of Bentley.
Now, most of us car guys love our rides but in all honesty do find some fault with our paramours. I once owned a car that was truly awe inspiring around corners but the horn note sounded as if a gnat was buzzing in your ear.
Well, not this Bentley customer. He was so disturbed by this injustice he was moved to action. He rang up the folks in Crewe, shared his frustration and was met with a litany of justifiable world regulations that dictate gas cap design and development. Undeterred, he sent the folks in Crewe a blank check with a covering note: ‘Fix it’.
Ever the bespoke firm, Bentley put some people on it, went through those litany of world regulations and developed a new gas cap.
So stunning is this gas cap that it is aptly named ‘Jewel Fuel Filler Cap’. Hard to understand without seeing and feeling it, this is made from one block of solid aluminum (Gene would be proud) and brush finished complete with a ‘B’ in the center. I have driven Lotus’ that don’t weigh as much as this.
Well back to our dedicated Bentley customer. Some time later, a package turns up on his doorstep. In it, one aforementioned Bentley ‘Jewel Fuel Filler Cap’, his un-cashed blank check and a check from Bentley. It turns out; this Bentley aficionado’s idea was shared amongst other owners so much so that the ‘Jewel Fuel Filler Cap’ became a wildly popular option. The check? His commission.
You can see our 2012 Bentley Continental GTC photo gallery here