Bentley designed the Corniche in 1939 - Carfoni

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Bentley designed the Corniche in 1939

Thursday, September 26, 2019

In 1939, Bentley gave birth to the ashes of the Corniche, which had become history after a road test accident. The legendary model dazzles with traditional production skills combined with original and newly manufactured parts.

Bentley has rebuilt a car that hasn't been with us for a long time, inspired by the glorious history of completing an important link in the history of its most important models. Inspired by the only 1939 model Corniche, the refined car has a design signature, technological innovation, and the breadth of skills at Mulliner's custom-made department, and the famous Embiricos 4¼ liter engine and R Type Continental are brought together.

Thanks to Mulliner's skills, Corniche, the only model of its kind available, was designed as a high-performance version of the new MkV sedan, a technological advancement expected to be launched in October 1939.

Corniche's design was a radical step forward from the traditional Bentley cars of the 1920s and 30s. The concept of verme giving the car an aerodynamic form ilk was used for the first time to achieve higher speed and performance, and this design would greatly impact many models from the post-war R Type Continental to the existing Continental GT.

In 1939, after the outbreak of the Second World War, Original Corniche was intertwined with the pages of history in France. The car was heavily damaged in a road accident in August 1939 during road tests in France. The chassis sent for repair had somehow reached the Bentley factory in Derby, but the bodywork had been destroyed by the bombing of Dieppe towards the end of 1939, and no one had seen it again.

Until now

The project was originally initiated several years ago by several volunteers from the WO Bentley Memorial Foundation and the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation, but under close supervision of Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark, who wanted the work to be completed in 2019 to bring Bentley to the centennial celebration. de facto studies were accelerated.

Mark It was one of the clear steps taken in the design language of the 1939 Corniche Bentley, when the R Type Continental, which was produced after it and is now iconic, was put aside, Hall says Hallmark. Corniche, one of Bentley's cars that has left its mark in history, proves that even then, this perfect British model has the best design and technology. Mulliner's fascinating redesign of the Corniche reveals our ability to revive excellent models from Bentley's old catalog, as well as to produce wonderful, personalized modern Bentley cars. ”

Since the project was built in the 1970s, including two State Limousine manufactured in 2002, nothing could be considered to be entrusted to the Mulliner department, where custom-built cars were produced for the royal family. Nowadays, mass-produced models are tailored to the customer's individual special requirements.

Mulliner's first historic automobile project, the Corniche, demonstrated the vastness of the department's hull manufacturing and restoration skills and capabilities. Using only original technical drawings and taking advantage of the skills of employees at Mulliner, Bentley's own custom-built automobile and body manufacturing department, this unique Corniche was recreated in Crewe using original Corniche and MkV mechanical components, and a body that was faithful to every detail was created from scratch.

Revitalizing an icon

Most parts manufactured to produce other Corniche models were preserved until the early 1970s before being sold to experts and car enthusiasts. Years later, in 2001, automotive historian and former Bentley director Ken Lea decided to use original parts to underpin the re-creation of Corniche.

The project was run at Derby and volunteers gathered information and pieces to collect the chassis. In 2008, when the project ran out of resources, Bentley Motors funded the project, and work on ash chassis and aluminum hulls started at hull manufacturer Ashley & James in Lymington, Hampshire. The body was created based on the draft drawings provided to the project by the family of George Paulin, the first designer of the car.

At the request of Adrian Hallmark, the new Chairman and CEO, there was no rapid progress in the project until it was transferred to the Mulliner department at Bentley Motors.

Mulsanne's white body team, in which the panels are still hand-shaped, made the finishing touches on the panels; The main body color is Imperial Maroon and the dye laboratory based on the limited description available for the creation of samples for the color Heather Gray used on glass edges;Cabinet Department Head Darren Day and his team created CAD (computer-aided design) designs for seat and door upholstery from detailed historical research, and the Mulliner trim team worked on the designs to create a typical Vanvooren-style cabinet design for the period, and Real Connolly Vaumol leather from the west of England and a carpet wrapped in the warehouse were used.

Original 1939 Model Corniche

In the late 1930s, Greek racer André Embiricos ordered a sports Bentley car that fit the old 4/4 liter engine chassis. The car was designed by talented designer Georges Paulin and produced by French bodybuilder Pourtout. Although it was a special order, the car was appreciated and supported by Bentley's engineers and management, who thought the factory should produce a more sporty version of the MkV sedan to be launched.

Production of the car was completed in May 1939 and a test drive was made at the Brooklands race track. In the meantime, a significant improvement compared to the standard MkV has been achieved, achieving speeds well above 100 mph (160 km / h). The concept of giving the car an aerodynamic form had just begun to be applied in mass production cars of the period. As such, the smooth lines of Corniche were far ahead of its time.

After Brooklands, Corniche was sent to France for road tests, but in July 1939, he was damaged by a collision with a bus and returned to Vanvooren for repairs and body improvements. He was taken to the Bentley warehouse where the tests were going to be carried out. Cars toppled sideways and suffered major damage.

By the end of that year, the Corniche was to be exhibited at Earls Court and Paris motor shows. So there was no time to lose. The hull was removed from the frame and the frame was returned to Crewe, while the hull was entrusted to a local body shop in France.

Ultimately, the Corniche's hull was completed in France and transported to Dieppe to be delivered to Bentley's headquarters. However, an administrative error at the ports caused a delay, and the body of the Corniche was destroyed by the heavy bombardment of Dieppe during World War II while waiting in the warehouse for transport.

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