A Bentley Embiricos, one of the most beautiful, valuable and historically influential cars ever built, has gone on show at the company’s Crewe factory.
On display until September, was commissioned by and named after Greek racing driver André Embiricos. The car was designed by Georges Paulin, producing an aerodynamic body for the Derby Bentley’s 4.5 litre engine which was perfect for touring.
The car was built using ultra-light Duralumin, an aluminium alloy which hardens with age and reached almost 115mph at Brooklands. Incredibly, the Bentley was also used by Embiricos for Sunday driving. H.S.F. Hay bought the car and raced it on three occasions at Le Mans 24-hour, earning a respectable sixth in 1949. This despite the fact that the car had over 60,000 miles on the clock!
The Embiricos Bentley was originally a one-off. However, the reaction to its sleek design encouraged the company to opt for a more streamlined design language. Shortly before WWII, in 1939 Bentley designer Ivan Evernden worked with Paulin on a new sleek Mark V, prototype the Corniche. When war broke out the initiative was put on hold and the Corniche was destroyed during bombing.
However, in 1952, Bentley’s softer design approach reached fruition in the shape of 1952 R Type Continental – the shape of today’s Continental GT coupe.
Richard Charlesworth, Director of Royal and VIP Relations and Head of the Bentley Heritage Collection, commented:
“It is an honour for Bentley to exhibit this unique Bentley for the first time, thanks to the generosity of its esteemed owner. Its sleek form was extremely advanced for the time, and its DNA can still be seen in modern Bentley coupes today. We are looking forward to showing the Embiricos to our factory visitors, and to the public at the upcoming Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance.”