Bond was a Bentley Man

Which marque of motor car do you most connect with James Bond? Well, according to Bentley Motors, popular opinion has got it wrong and Bond’s preference has historically been with – you’ve guessed it – Bentley. Bond owned no fewer than three of them in the course of Fleming’s original 14 novels and, to drive the point home, Bentley is collaborating with Penguin Books to design and produce a luxury, limited collectors’ edition of the new Bond book by Sebastian Faulks, Devil May Care.

Says Bentley Chief Designer, Dirk van Braeckel, “Transferring our design knowledge from the car world to a book was a new challenge for us but we think we have come up with a unique product which is complementary to the history of Bentley and Bond.”

The special edition takes its inspiration from hard-covers of the original 1950s and 1960s Bond books, combined, we’re told, ‘with the stylish Bentley owner’s manuals and handbooks of the era’. Inside the book, in a ‘car-shaped hole’, is an individually numbered (to match the black, embossed, aluminium plate on the inside cover) 1:43 pewter model of a modified Bentley R type, as described in Thunderball and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, a car which Bond called ‘the Locomotive’.

Bond was a Bentley Man Bond was a Bentley Man

The book itself is bound in Bodoniana-style cases and finished in burnt oak leather from the tannery in Italy which provides the hides for Bentley’s interiors. The iconic Bentley diamond pattern, found on the radiator grille and upholstery of modern Bentleys, is hand-stitched on the leather casing, while the front cover and spine is finished with the silver Bentley ‘Flying B’. The inside of the casing is trimmed in deep red hotspur leather and each book is protected by a Plexiglass slip case.

Devil May Care, written by Sebastian Faulks at the invitation of Ian Fleming Publications, will be published on 28th May to celebrate the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth. Only 300 copies of the Special Series edition will be produced, at a cost of £750 each, available exclusively from the Penguin James Bond books website (

Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photos: Penguin - Strictly Copyright

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