Jack Barclay - London Flagship showroom has £2m refurbishment
A familiar feature in Mayfair for discerning sporting motorists since the 1950s, the world-famous Bentley showroom in Berkeley Square has re-opened for business, maintaining its position as the UK's largest purveyor of the marque, and the capital's only authorised Bentley dealer.
After 11 months of refurbishment, as well as a £2 million investment, Jack Barclay Bentley has returned to its home in Berkeley Square, having de-camped to its service facilities on the other side of the Thames for the duration of the building work.
The redesigned showroom retains several of the classic features symbolising its unique partnership with the marque over eight decades. However the company has incorporated a varity of modern customer facilities and contemporary styling cues in recognition of the latest hi-tech cars from Crewe.
"Over time Jack Barclay has become something of an unofficial Mayfair landmark, and this year we’ve worked exceptionally hard to protect this remarkable heritage while also looking to the future," says Brent Smith, Jack Barclay’s dealer principal.
"The final result is a showroom that remains true to Jack Barclay’s passion for Bentley, including his own exploits at Brooklands in the 1920s when he raced alongside the celebrated ‘Bentley Boys.’ It’s also a modern flagship dealership for Bentley in the heart of London and the perfect place to experience the Arnage model range and the Continental Flying Spur and Continental GT."
The new showroom has been significantly enlarged and features a dedicated customer commissioning area, while a private specification room provides customers with the opportunity to browse through the vast range of exterior finishes, hides and wood trims - all examples of Bentley’s bespoke craft and design ethos.
Many signature and Bentley-inspired designs remain. The black and white chequered ‘race flag’ floor (a celebration of Bentley’s unique achievements at Le Mans and Brooklands) has been restored to its former glory. And the famous boardroom, which houses a remarkable collection of photography, has been preserved.
There is also an extensive archive of correspondence between Jack Barclay, his staff and famous customers of the period. The Berkeley Square building had been commissioned by Barclay before the war, wishing to re-locate from the company's then Hanover Square premises - a short drive over Oxford Street.
Delayed by the conflict, the move was eventually made in the early '50s with the building featuring the famous car-lift that brings large (Bentleys usually are...) cars from pavement level down to the basement. This lift was originally water-powered (by the Thames!), nowadays a more modern - yet discretely engineered- solution has been found.
Text: Classic Driver
Photos: Jack Barclay Bentley
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