Opening the door of a Bentley can reveal the indulgent permanence of sustainable wood, with the foundation of solid walnut, cherry or oak visibly running through the dashboard and overlaid with a choice of many different veneers. The story of this wood does not begin in Crewe, but in every corner of the world where exotic trees grow for up to 200 years before being harvested. After the root burl has been steamed and finely sliced into 0.6 mm thick bundles of veneer, Bentley veneer experts travel to wherever it may be to check every inch, a process that takes two days.
The final selection process occurs at Crewe, when the veneer is chosen by the craftsperson who will transform it. Only the most highly figured areas of veneer are chosen, before being mirror matched and applied to the substrate. After sanding to create a smooth surface, each part is lacquered before being cured for 72 hours. When cured, it is sanded and polished again before being fitted to the car.