Golden Jubilee (2002)
Bentley State Limousine for H.M. The Queen
All over the world when traveling on official engagements Her Majesty The
Queen, inevitably at least for part of the journey used a Rolls-Royce motor car.
The huge state limousines on chassis Rolls-Royce Phantom V and
Phantom VI to most people seem to be the perfect sort of official transport for
the Sovereign. Hence it sometimes is a mild surprise to learn that this has not
always been the case. For some 50 years the Daimler Company of Coventry
continued to provide cars for the British Monarchy until well into the reign of
H.M. The Queen.
It is to be
expected that as a result of much discreet maneuvering, from the year 2002
onward Bentley Motors will be granted the right to display the Royal Coat of
Arms together with the words "By appointment to Her Majesty Queen
Elizabeth II motor car manufacturers". In May 2002 an all new car will be
presented to H.M. The Queen to celebrate her Golden Jubilee. Thus for the
first time ever a Bentley motor car will have been accepted as State
Limousine. The car is conceived by a Bentley-led consortium of British Motor
Industry manufacturers and suppliers as a gift to H.M. The Queen. This reminds
of the first Rolls-Royce Phantom IV in 1950 - that later became State
Limousine - having been a present to then H.R.H. Princess Elizabeth and H.R.H.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. A quarter of a century ago during Silver
Jubilee the idea of SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) to present
a Rolls-Royce Shadow II for her personal use was communicated to Her Majesty.
Reportedly her reply has been that it seemed a rather expensive car for her
private enjoyment and perhaps a car that would have wider appreciation by
being used publicly might be a wise choice? There was no choice but a
Rolls-Royce Phantom VI and duly chassis number #PGH101 was delivered;
approximately three times as expensive as a Silver Shadow II….
Bentley Golden Jubilee will be a unique car, designed by Bentley design
director Dirk van Braeckel in conjunction with exterior stylist Crispin
Marshfield who started work on the project in February 2000. Neither
appearance nor physical proportion bear any relation to any other Bentley
product. Due to its space efficient monocoque construction a considerably
lower roofline could be achieved while preserving the requisite interior
height (whereas the Rolls-Royce Phantom showed body on chassis
configuration). Opaque panels over the backlight of the car are removable,
allowing the choice between an increased level of privacy or an improved view
of the occupants from outside the car. When not in use the panels are stowed
in the boot.
regards engine and powertrain Bentley Motors decided not to reveal details. It
is pure speculation whether or not under the bonnet there will be the usual 6
¾ litre V8-engine. It would be a first, when a State Car was propelled by a
turbocharged engine. Neither has been announced who will apply the Royal Coat
of Arms to rear doors and bootlid. When this work was done on the car
delivered for Silver Jubilee 24 years ago (24 years is no error - indeed
industrial action delayed delivery for more than a year!) C.G. Francis,
heraldic artist by appointment to H.M. The Queen, was already at pensioner's