Inside the Rolls-Royce & Bentley Styling Department 1971 to 2001 by Graham Hull
From a small design team working on the Silver Spirit/Mulsanne, to becoming Chief Stylist, Graham Hull peels back the curtain on an idiosyncratic institution during his time at Crewe. Throwing light on a factory motivated as much by pride, as the bottom-line, all the projects, whether production, special commission, or aborted designs, are covered, and the often unique styling process is explored. This process was a key element in the resurgence of the dormant Bentley marque, that, with its fortunes on the rise, became the star of the Geneva Motor Show, attracting commissions from wealthy enthusiasts for totally bespoke vehicles.
Founding fathers Royce and Rolls melded engineering with marketing, but as marketing took over, this union fractured. The drama of how this British institution was divided between BMW and VW, and how aesthetic design, never cherished by British management, was increasingly recognised, is fundamental to the story. The bewildering number of projects during the 1990s is a genuine eye-opener and a phenomena that demanded unique peoples, skills, and facilities.