Bentley celebrates 20 years of Continental GT with global relay

Specially-made baton has been passed around a full lap of the world.

Bentley has completed a ‘unique global relay’ to mark 20 years of its Continental GT.

Reaching its conclusion at the luxury car maker’s home in Crewe, Cheshire, the route has seen a specially-made baton travel to stops in Europe, the Middle East, China, Asia Pacific, the US and the UK.

In the process, it has visited 20 journalists and content creators who have completed 20 ‘memorable’ drives to mark each year of Continental GT production.

Designed and built in Crewe, the Continental GT was first revealed in 2003 and marked a new era of styling and performance for Bentley. It also marked several firsts, being the first Bentley to get both all-wheel-drive and a brand-new W12 engine.

To celebrate that model’s launch, Bentley created a special baton designed with the same level of finish as its road cars. Finished in Cypress Green – the same colour that was used on the first production Continental GT – the baton has an asymmetric twist like an aircraft propeller.

Photos: PA Media

Chris Cooke, head of Bentley design collaborations, said: “Every element of the baton sculpture was inspired by the Continental GT, and there is purpose in every form. For example, the end cap shows a simplified graphic of the Continental GT with its three feature lines; the Bentley powerline from the front wheel arch along the car’s flanks; the flyline of the roof; and the muscular ‘haunch’ over the rear wheel. Hold the baton horizontally, and as you turn it in your hands you will see each of those lines in the contours of the sculpture.”

Inside the baton is a scroll which has been signed by each of the 20 invited guest drivers. Now back in its home, the anniversary baton will be housed in Bentley’s heritage garage alongside the first Continental GT.

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