Studio tour: Bentley’s evolving Crewe campus

Freddie Robin James Abel at Bentley_2681

Car Design News was invited for a tour of Bentley’s sprawling campus and to chat with both senior and junior designers 

As Car Design News is based in the UK, it is always nice when the opportunity arises to visit a local (ish) design studio. Nestled in an unassuming suburb of Crewe, not too far from Manchester, Bentley’s headquarters retains much of the original site’s pre-war architecture and industrial feel with more modern touches. Pitched roofs atop the main assembly line buildings were created to mimic surrounding houses, disguising the factory from potential bombers (or trying to, at least – it was hit in 1940).

Freddie Robin James Abel at Bentley_2669

Design director Robin Page (left) chats to CDN during a very chilly visit to Crewe 

Our visit began at the swanky dealership set away from the main factory where we are met by returning design director, Robin Page, for a whistlestop tour of the brand’s illustrious history, punctuated by aviation, motorsport, its acquisition by now arch-rival Rolls-Royce, and in the noughties a shift to producing cars in much higher volumes. Page and his team often visit this heritage centre, tucked away behind closed doors at the back of the dealership, for sources of inspiration but also to stay connected with the brand’s roots. A semi-circle of some astonishing models highlights how the brand evolved from battling at Brooklands race circuit to cruising in supreme comfort (and style).

And as the…

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