World of Supercars

Bentley unveils three bespoke Bentaygas inspired by the ‘Bentley Girls’ of the 1920s

Bentley Motors commemorates International Women's Day with three bespoke Bentayga models, celebrating the pioneering 'Bentley Girls'—Mary Petre Bruce, Dorothy Paget, and Diana Barnato Walker. Share

In a resplendent tribute to the legacy of the ‘Bentley Girls’ of the 1920s, Bentley Motors has unveiled three bespoke Bentayga models to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. Two bespoke designers—Emma Carruthers and Georgia Gough—commissioned these unique interpretations inspired by the amazing women that held defining roles in the brand’s 105-year history.

While the Bentley Boys may have set the pace, the Bentley Girls refused to take a back seat, making their mark in inimitable Bentley style. Now, their lives and achievements are celebrated in three one-off Bentayga specifications, with the Bentayga’s go-anywhere luxury a perfect match for the incredible lifestyles they led. Each unique specification incorporates special design cues from the storied past of each Bentley Girl defining a modern interpretation of their vehicle of choice today.

The Bentayga Azure celebrating Mary Petre Bruce is inspired by the 4½ Litre Bentley she drove at Montlhéry, France for 24 hours on 6 June 1929, to capture the world record for single-handed driving, averaging more than 89 miles per hour. Mary had never driven a Bentley until the day of the record attempt and had to borrow cushions from the official timekeepers so she could reach the pedals. Despite fog, cold and treacherous track conditions she covered 2,164 miles in 24 hours.

The Mary Petre Bruce Bentayga Azure features Parson Green Pearlescent Paint over matching heritage hide, both a direct connection to her 4½ Litre. The interior features 24-karat gold organ stops, aligning with her winning mentality and lavish lifestyle. Mother of pearl crossbanded veneer is also included—a nod to a celebrated quote from Mary: “I was never keen on overalls or slacks, but always drove in a blouse, tailored skirt and a string of pearls”. Further inspiration from her 4½ Litre includes vertical fluted quilting seat uppers and doorcards as well as Mother of Pearl Marquetry reading ‘YV 7263’ – the number plate of the car she drove.

Dorothy Paget played a vital role in the creation of one of the most iconic Bentleys; the 4½ Litre Supercharged, commonly known as the Blower Bentley. While other young ladies prioritised finding a suitor, Paget focused her passion on speed and power. Her interest in motor racing first developed on a visit to Brooklands, where she took driving lessons from Bentley Boy and racing driver Sir Tim Birkin. He described her as one of the finest women drivers he had ever come across, ‘capable of handling any make of racing car produced in this country or abroad.’

By 1929, Birkin had become obsessed with driving more performance from the Bentley 4½ Litre. He was convinced that Amherst Villiers’ supercharger was the way to do it, and despite the opposition of W.O. Bentley himself, Dorothy Paget sponsored a racing team of supercharged Blowers. Four 4½ Litre Supercharged Blowers were built, and Birkin’s team competed alongside Bentley’s Works team at Brooklands and Le Mans. The #2 Team Car, raced by Birkin himself at Le Mans in 1930, has since become the most famous, most iconic and most valuable Bentley in the world—a car of legend, despite never winning a race.

The Dorothy Paget Bentayga Extended Wheelbase (EWB) Mulliner features solid Blower Green Exterior paint over minimal color split interior hide of Cumbrian and Blower Green—colour-matched to Team Car #2 itself. The EWB Mulliner—the pinnacle of the Bentayga range – was chosen to express and showcase Dorothy’s extraordinary lifestyle.

There are further inspirations from the Bentley Blower which she helped create, including Nickel Painted Self Levelling Wheel Accent Bezels and Painted Nickel Veneer Carriers to the interior—both a reference to the Blower’s radiator. To the inside, engine spin aluminium fascias echo the dashboard of the Blower.

Like Mary Petre Bruce, flying became Diana’s lifelong passion. She flew solo at the Brooklands Flying Club in 1938 after only six hours of instruction and joined the Air Transport Auxiliary in 1941, delivering aircraft from the factories to front-line squadrons.

Famous for her glamorous appearance and exceptional flying skills, by the end of the war she had delivered 260 Spitfires and numerous other aircraft to their squadrons. The Diana Barnato Bentayga S is inspired by her favourite aircraft,  the Spitfire—and so features a Smoke Green exterior and the interior hide split of green and saddle, referencing the Spitfire Mk9’s cockpit. Additionally, the car features a bespoke D Pillar badge with the Spitfire emblem and Signal Yellow accents replicating the colour of the wing’s leading edge.

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