Bentley works, Crewe - Mulsanne shell during assembly processEnlarge Photo
Sometimes photos speak louder than words. This slideshow provides just a few snapshots of what Bentley buyers experience if they visit the factory in Crewe, England, to commission a new Mulsanne.
The new body assembly hall built just for the Mulsanne includes a viewing platform, so visitors can watch the process of steel stampings and aluminium panels coming together into a single body shell.
They may also visit the "commissioning room" within a building housing Mulliner, the former coachbuilding firm that now creates custom finishes, fittings, and accessories for Bentley customers.
A new 2011 Bentley Mulsanne is the centerpiece of the room, with samples of woods, leathers, furs, and paint colors on tables and in presentations on shelving walls at the sides of the room.
The Mulsanne line is far from running at full tilt, which is to say, 20 cars a day. It's still building pre-production prototypes in fits and starts, with customer cars not due until August.
But craftspeople like Cath Green continue to create leather and wood interior fittings by hand for the GT, as they always have.
Depending on whether the wheel has a wood rim or one wrapped in leather--and whether the customer has specified a heated rim--Green's output varies.
On average, she finishes about one and a half wheels per day.
The manufacturer provided airfare, lodging, and meals to enable High Gear Media to participate in the event that led to this story.