Cutting remarks in Crewe as GC attempts to hand back a Bentley to its makers
When I had one of the first Bentley Turbos on test, with the famous test plate 1900 TU, I’d driven the jet-propelled battle-cruiser de luxe everywhere I could conceive, but the time finally came to return it to Bentley’s press department.
When I got to Crewe I ended up round the back of the Rolls-Royce/Bentley plant, separated from it by a 10ft-tall wire fence, and drove into successive streets of down-at-heel terraces, hitting this fence time and again without finding evidence of a gate.
Then I saw an old man on the pavement, and in defiance of the laws against Northern stereotyping, I have to tell you that he was actually wearing a flat cap and a muffler.
I guided the huge machine over to him, whispered to a halt, swished the window down and called “Excuse me…”.
He glanced at the flying ‘B’, then inside at the acres of cream leather and walnut and without a pause said, “It’s no good asking me mate, I haven’t any coppers to spare.”