1970 - 1979
Looking back on the clone years of the seventies, with the Bentley’s superb heritage reduced to little more than a badge on an ageing Rolls-Royce, Bentley sales teetered below ten percent of total production.
Motoring historians are unanimous in regarding Bentley’s survival as something of a miracle.
The introduction of the T2 and the Bentley Corniche drophead coupé did little to restore the public’s faith in the marque. Neither did the liquidation of Rolls-Royce when the development costs of its world beating RB211 jet engine soared over budget.
The tide would eventually turn, of course. And while it is easy in hindsight to be critical of the parent company’s handling of the Bentley brand during these parlous years, the long association with Rolls-Royce and its coach-building partners such as Mulliner would leave an indelible mark of refined luxury in Bentley’s DNA. W.O. himself would have approved of this side of the equation.
Now all Bentley needed was the power to perform.