Bentley Motors has recently concluded a remarkable 20-year celebration of its iconic Continental GT model with a unique global relay. The journey, marked by the arrival of a specially-made 20th-anniversary baton in Crewe, took enthusiasts on a tour across Europe, the Middle East, China, Asia Pacific, the US, and the UK. This grand celebration, featuring 20 memorable drives, paid homage to each year of Continental GT production, highlighting the model’s evolution and significance in Bentley’s illustrious history.
The journey down memory lane began with the launch of the first-generation Continental GT in 2003, a pivotal moment that transformed Bentley Motors. This groundbreaking model marked the advent of the modern era for Bentley, featuring all-wheel drive and the innovative W12 engine. The Continental GT swiftly propelled Bentley to its current status as the world’s most sought-after luxury car brand.
A central piece in this celebration is the specially crafted 20th-anniversary baton. Developed in the Crewe design studio, the baton’s design mirrors the meticulous refinement seen in any production model. Finished in Cypress Green, the same exterior finish as the first-ever production Continental GT, the baton boasts an intriguing asymmetrical twist reminiscent of an aircraft propeller blade. The knurled cap, inspired by the Continental GT’s drive mode selector, conceals the baton’s interior where a scroll is housed.
Chris Cooke, Head of Bentley Design Collaborations, delves into the intricacies: “Every element of the baton sculpture was inspired by the Continental GT, and there is purpose in every form.”
The 20th-anniversary baton embarked on a symbolic journey, reaching 20 journalists and content creators across the globe. Each leg of the relay allowed participants to experience the Continental GT stable, culminating in a unique journey that reflected the model’s evolution over two decades. At the conclusion of their drives, participants signed the scroll, creating a record of their memorable journey before passing it on to the next participant.
As the year-long celebration draws to a close, the 20th-anniversary baton finds its permanent home in Bentley’s Heritage Garage. This symbolic gesture places the baton alongside the very first GT, underlining the significance of the model’s 20-year legacy in the company’s history.
From its inception in 2003 to the present day, the Continental GT has continued to redefine luxury and performance. With awards and accolades continuing to pour in, including the recent recognition at the Auto Motor und Sport awards, the Continental GT remains a beacon of Bentley’s commitment to excellence.
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