The ‘Embiricos’ Bentley 4¼ Litre of 1938 impressed Bentley to build an aerodynamic Mark V referred to as the Corniche. Though the authentic system was destroyed in the war, it was the precursor to the legendary R Type Continental of 1952. To celebrate Bentley’s 2019 centenary, the Corniche was recreated using a mix of authentic Mark V parts and the expert fabrication techniques of Mulliner, Bentley’s in-house bespoke and coachbuilding division.

Exploring aerodynamics

In the late 1930s the ‘Embiricos’ Bentley, developed by Georges Paulin and bodied by Pourtout, experienced proven the value of aerodynamics for quick street and monitor driving. Its results encouraged Bentley to commission a one-off 4-doorway Mark V in a very similar ‘streamlined’ design. A Mark V prototype chassis (14BV) was despatched to France, where Bentley designer Ivan Evernden worked jointly with Paulin at the Paris workshops of Carosserie Vanvooren. The auto, named ‘Corniche’, was intended to be proven at the 1939 London Motor Clearly show along with other coachbuilders’ choices for the Mark V chassis.

A troubled heritage

In 1939 a prototype lapped Brooklands at 109 mph (175 km/h), and a whole test programme began. Regretably, in August 1939 test driver Percy Rose crashed the car in France, harming the bodywork. With the outbreak of war in September 1939 the London Motor Demonstrate was cancelled, halting work on all versions of the Mark V. Meanwhile the repaired Corniche physique experienced been taken to Dieppe for delivery back to the Uk but was wrecked when the docks ended up bombed.

The missing website link recreated

While it in no way noticed creation, the Corniche is major product in Bentley heritage, linking the pre-war Embiricos 4¼ litre with the R Variety Continental of 1952. A venture to recreate the Corniche was began by historian Ken Lea and volunteers from the W.O. Bentley Memorial Foundation, but it was introduced in-property in February 2018 and completed in time for the centenary celebrations. Making use of unique technological drawings, the just one-off Corniche was rebuilt by the Mulliner team in Crewe working with Mark V mechanical components and an all-new overall body and inside, equivalent in each individual element to the initial. It is completed in time period-suitable Imperial Maroon with a aspect flash of Heather Gray, while the interior was trimmed in normal Vanvooren fashion utilizing the appropriate Connolly Vaumol cover and West of England cloth.

Date Made 1938-1939
Number Crafted 4 chassis 1 comprehensive vehicle (ruined 1939) a single-off recreation 2019
Physique Unique saloon system by Van Vooren, recreated by Mulliner, Bentley’s in-dwelling coachbuilding division in 2019. 4-doorways, 5-seats weight approx. 1,727 kg
Motor 6-cylinder, 4257 cc. Pushrod overhead 2-valves equipment-driven camshaft forged iron cylinder head, block, aluminium crankcase 7-bearing crankshaft
Electric power 142 bhp @ 3,800 rpm
Transmission Single dry plate 10 in (25.4 cm) clutch 4–speed gearbox, synchromesh 3 and 4
Chassis Ladder-variety steel frame with cruciform bracing unbiased entrance suspension by coil springs, wishbones anti-roll bar stay rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs Armstrong hydraulic lever arm dampers entrance R-R hydraulic with experience manage rear Girling mechanical servo brakes
Dimensions Wheelbase 3,149 mm monitor 1,429 mm entrance, 1,473 mm rear size 4,851 mm) width 1,753 mm)
Effectiveness Greatest speed 110 mph (176 km/h)