BENTLEY has handcrafted a unique and one-off Continental GT Azure, inspired by Bentley's retained example of the iconic R-Type Continental, JAS 949.
The new Continental GT is in honour of JAS 949's 70thbirthday, celebrating one of the important style icons in Bentley's history.
JAS 949 is one of only 208 examples of the R Type Continental ever built - but the car had a greater impact than the limited numbers suggest.
The beautiful Bentleys old and new have been photographed at an equally spectacular London landmark that is itself a 21stcentury reinvention of a 1950s icon - Battersea Power Station in south London.
Quoted as ‘a modern magic carpet which annihilates great distances' the R-Type Continental was the fastest four-seat luxury saloon in the world when launched in 1952.
The three key design lines of the car - the power line from the front wheel, the rear haunch and the roofline - were the inspiration for the first generation Continental GT in 2003 and every Continental GT since.
The latest Azure members of the Continental GT family continue to celebrate elegance and design, directly descended from the R-Type Continental, while adding a focus on wellbeing behind the wheel.
JAS 949 is Bentley's own R-Type Continental, and resides in the newly opened Heritage Garage at Bentley's carbon-neutral campus in Crewe.
Bentley acquired JAS 949 in 2001 and has maintained it in excellent mechanical order while sympathetically preserving its patina. The car is driven on the road on a regular basis.
The new Continental GT V8 Azure has been hand painted in Old English White - a faithful re-creation of the heritage paint colour that dates back to the 1950s.
It is fitted with bright chrome (including the matrix grille) While JAS949 rides on 16 -inch wheels, the newer version runs on 22-inch hand-finished wheels, in a black and polished finish as per the original.
Inside the cabin, Cricket Ball leather can be seen throughout providing a deep and rich heritage feel for the driver and passengers and mirroring the hide colour of JAS 949.
To provide contrast and to preserve the design lines of the cabin, hand-applied piping in Beluga leather brings accents to the seats.
Adding a contemporary aspect, the Burr Walnut veneer has been left as open pore, providing a closer texture to the patinated finish in JAS 949.