H.J. Mulliner began building custom carriages in 1897. It was nothing new for his family, as they had been building and renting carriages since 1760. Their expertise in luxury was easily adapted to automobiles, and their wealthy clientele commissioned incredible cars to be built on Bentley and Rolls-Royce chassis. One French customer ordered a gorgeous car, but it was destroyed by a bombing raid in WWII. Since it was the only example, Mulliner has recreated the 1939 Bentley Corniche.
No longer an independent Coachbuilder, they are Bentley’s in-house custom shop. But that doesn’t mean they have lost the ability to build their own cars. Much like Mercedes allowing AMG to develop the GT lineup, giving your best employees a demanding task will result in greatness. My Grandfather was lead Navigator of the 8th Air Force. He made sure the bombs got as close to the target as their analog computer would allow. Nevertheless, bombers who were attacked by the Luftwaffe were forced to drop their bombs and head for home.
This unfortunate Bentley is probably a victim of such German aggression. A bit ironic now that Bentley and Mulliner are a division of Volkswagen Group. Sometimes history repeats itself, and this Corniche is an exact replica of the original. Because Bentley builds cars using traditional methods, they dusted off the car’s blueprints. Many original parts were restored, and new ones were manufactured to exacting standards. It will be part of Bentley’s Centenary at Salon Prive. We will have full coverage of this event next month, so stay with us for all your Bentley news. Mulliner is capable of anything you desire, so check out what they have done with the new Continental GT in the link below.