Bentley has recreated a rare streamlined Corniche model that was smashed in a World War II bombing raid on the French town of Dieppe.
Built in 1939, the high-performance car had already been badly damaged in a road accident while undergoing tests in France shortly before the outbreak of war.
The chassis was taken back to the Derby factory but the bodywork was sent for repair to a coachbuilder in Dieppe. Before it could be shipped back to England, the Corniche body was destroyed in a bombing raid and the remains were never seen again.
The car was painstakingly recreated by experts at Bentley’s bespoke Mulliner coachworks plant in time for Bentley’s centenary celebrations this year.
The company has been building one-off cars since the 1970s, including models for collectors and two state limousines used by Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royalty.
With only the original technical drawings to go on, restorers used original Corniche and MkV components to completely remake the wood and aluminium bodywork. It is said to be identical in every detail to the original.
The Corniche made its first public appearance at England’s Salon Prive at Blenheim Palace in September and will join Bentley’s Heritage fleet, which already includes WO Bentley’s 8 Litre and the Birkin Team Blower, to be used and exhibited at events around the world. – dpa
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