Bentley Azure MK I – Luxury Cars of the 20th Century
Originally debuting at the 1995 Geneva Motor Show, Bentley produced just 251 Azure’s over its 8-year life, and only 9 in its first year of production. The reason for the glacial production speed lies in its astounding attention to detail and magnificent engineering. The Azure’s seats were trimmed in leather taken from countries with no barbed wire to avoid damaging the cows hides, the wood panelling was shaved by hand; every aspect of the Azure was perfected.
Built on the platform of the Continental R, lopping the roof off to create the Azure was no mean feat of engineering. The 7-foot roof was so vast Bentley turned to Pininfarina to design the cloth roof used to shade the four seats, capable of folding away in 25 seconds. Naturally, removing a roof from such a large car required significant strengthening. Bentley used Carbon fibre to support the chassis, another reason the Azure retailed new at $347,000, a considerable amount more than the car which spawned it, the Continental R.