Did you ever wonder what it is like to be the greatest basketball player in the world? Could you imagine being able to have anything you wanted, to be so famous that everyone knows who you are, even if they’ve never been to an NBA game? And did you ever think, “I wonder what kind of car someone like that, with so much money and fame, would choose to drive?” Well, actually, you don’t have to do too much imagining to answer that last question. Long before there was Dr. J, Magic and Larry, Michael, Shaq and Kobe, and LeBron, there was the first NBA superstar, the great Wilt Chamberlain. The 7-foot one inch Wilt Chamberlain started his professional career with the Harlem Globetrotters for one season (yes, those Globetrotters) before joining the Philadelphia Warriors for the start of the 1959-60 season (yes, the Warriors used to be in Philadelphia). Wilt was so talented, he became the highest-paid player in the NBA in his rookie year and went on to literally destroy every scoring and rebounding record on the books. On March 2, 1962, Wilt Chamberlain became the first and only player in NBA history to score 100 points in one game, single handedly demolishing the New York Knicks. And how did the NBA’s first true superstar celebrate? He bought himself a custom-made ’61 Bentley Continental Convertible Drophead Coupe in baby lavender. Talk about celebrating in style!
If the great Wilt Chamberlain were still with us today, I’m pretty sure he’d be very impressed with today’s Bentley. However, I think he’d find himself with quite a dilemma on his hands. Which Bentley would a champion like Wilt choose? These beautiful machines are still handmade, just like they were when W.O. Bentley founded the company in Cricklewood, North London, over 100 years ago. Today, Bentley Motors Limited is headquartered in Crewe, England, busily producing some of the finest motor vehicles on the road today, featuring the ideal combination of luxury and performance, all built to the exact standards of Bentley’s customers.
If classic looks and traditional styling are your cup of tea, then the Bentley Mulsanne might be the luxury sedan for you. The Mulsanne is a gorgeous four-door sedan with ample room for you and four passengers.
Bentley describes the Mulsanne as the “consummate saloon,” and with all the leather and wood in the interior, it does look like a very high-end lounge. The Mulsanne features a 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine. It is paired with an 8-speed transmission and can produce up to 506 horsepower and 752 lb-ft of torque, giving you the power to do 0-60 mph in only 5.1 seconds. As I may have already mentioned, Bentley is all about the perfect combination of luxury and performance. The Mulsanne has a top speed of 184 miles per hour and provides a decent fuel economy of 11 MPG in the city, 18 MPG on the highway, and 13 MPG combined.
Got a need for more speed? The aptly named Bentley Mulsanne Speed features 21-inch wheels and a more sports-tuned version of the same 6.75-liter V8 as the Mulsanne, providing more horsepower (530 horsepower to be exact), and torque (fully 811 lb-ft). As a result, the Mulsanne Speed has a top speed of 190 miles per hour and can go 0-60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. Fortunately, if you can afford a Bentley, then you shouldn’t have too much trouble paying for speeding tickets.
Did you ever want to say, “Once more around the park, Jeeves?” Then the Bentley Mulsanne Extended-Wheelbase is the sedan for you. This Bentley is designed with the busy executive in mind, who will need a professional driver to help her with her busy schedule. The Mulsanne Extended-Wheelbase provides increased legroom for you and your passengers, a panoramic sunroof, and classic duotone paint at your option. Speaking of options, the Mulsanne is custom-built, with your choice of 100 exterior colors, 11 choices of veneers, and 24 different hide colors. If I were better at math, I would tell you how many options that translate into, but I’ll just leave that to you. Oh, and you’ll also have to factor in the optional duotone paint finish.
Bentley New Flying Spur
New for 2020 is the latest in Bentley’s line of sports sedans, the Flying Spur. This four-door sedan features the finest craftsmanship with a dynamic performance profile. The interior and exterior feature a more contemporary design than the classic Mulsanne. Also, just like the Mulsanne Speed, the New Flying Spur is built for the performance driver in mind. It features 21-inch 10-spoke wheels and the user-friendly My Bentley Connected Car infotainment system. For power, it has a 6.0-liter W12 engine paired with an 8-speed dual clutch transmission. This engine provides 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque, able to get you from 0-60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. The New Flying Spur has a top speed of 207 miles per hour, so it almost achieves maximum exit velocity to fly. Like its linemates, this is also a bespoke automobile, with 17 standard colors and 13 custom colors to choose from, 8 veneers, and 15 different hides. I wonder if any of them are Wilt’s beloved baby lavender?
Bentley New Continental GT
Look what they have done to Wilt’s beloved car! The New Continental GT is a gorgeous updating of this classic two-door sports coupe. There are two different ones to choose from based on the engine type. The New Continental GT features a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 engine paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. This provides 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque, able to propel the coupe from 0-60 mph in a blistering 3.6 seconds. Just like the New Flying Spur, the New Continental GT has a top speed of 207 miles per hour.
You might think that a performance car with this much speed might get killed at the gas pump, but then you’d be wrong. The New Continental GT has an estimated fuel economy of 12 MPG in the city, 21 MPG on the highway, and 15 MPG combined. This is also the most advanced car ever crafted by Bentley and comes equipped with a 46V active roll control system and variable displacement technology. The New Continental GT comes in your choice of color, veneers, and hides, including dual veneers. It also comes in a convertible with a 4-layer insulated roof in your choice of fabric.
If you are willing to trade a little bit of speed for better fuel economy, then you should look at the New Continental GT V8. As the name suggests, this comes with Bentley’s powerful and efficient V8 engine that produces 542 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque. The New Continental GT V8 has a top speed of 198 miles per hour and is still swift enough to go from 0-60 mph in only 3.9 seconds. This coupe also comes in a convertible and gets exceptional fuel economy of 16 MPG in the city, 26 MPG on the highway, and 19 MPG combined.
Did you know that Bentley manufactures an SUV? The Bentayaga is Bentley’s entry into the growing market of five-passenger, high-end luxury SUVs, and it may be both the most luxurious and the fastest. In fact, the Bentley Bentayaga Speed holds the record of the world’s fastest SUV, with a top speed of 190 miles per hour. The Bentayaga and the Bentayaga Speed feature Bentley’s famous W12 engine. The one on the Bentayaga Speed is more sports-tuned and able to produce 620 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. This SUV has some real get-up-and-go, going from 0-60 mph in only 3.8 seconds. Blink, and you’ll miss it!
The Bentayaga Speed comes in your choice of 100 different exterior shades, 15 hide colours, and 12 different duotone paint options.
The Bentayaga is no slouch either. It features a W12 engine that produces up to 600 horsepower and 664 pounds to feet of torque, able to go 0-60 mph in just 4.0 seconds. The top speed on the Bentayaga is a brisk 187 miles per hour, and it gets an exceptional fuel economy of 14 MPG in the city, 20 MPG on the highway, and 16 MPG combined. Best of all, the Bentayaga is designed for the ultimate tailgate party. The trunk (or should I say boot?) opens into a slide-out event seat, perfect for entertaining you and your guests.
The Bentayaga V8 comes with Bentley’s V8 engine with twin-scroll turbochargers and features a very sleek and contemporary interior. It has a maximum speed of 180 miles per hour on its V8 engine and can go 0-60 mph in only 4.4 seconds. That is because the V8 engine efficiently produces 542 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque while having superior fuel efficiency of 14 MPG in city driving, 23 MPG in highway driving, and 17 MPG combined. If you want a little more style, there is the Bentayaga V8 Design, with specialized interior and exterior finishes, including Mulliner Paragon wheels.
If you prefer alternative energy, Bentley features the Bentayaga in a diesel engine and in a hybrid.
The Bentayaga Diesel is great both on and off the road as its 4.0-liter V8 32-valve diesel engine produces 429 horsepower and a muscular 664 lb-ft of torque. This is one peppy diesel engine, able to go 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds with a top speed of 168 miles per hour. This is like Wilt Chamberlain in his prime, driving the lane for a slam-dunk. The Bentayaga Hybrid has an EV drive with CO2 emissions of only 79 g/km. With the Bentayaga Hybrid, it is easy being green!
Bentley Mulliner Bacalar
My choice for the car that Wilt Chamberlain would drive if he were still alive today is this beautiful two-door, two-seat convertible sports car. It has a futuristic exterior but an interior that combines modern features with classic styling. It starts with four 22-inch tri-finish wheels, cut in a geometric pattern that is as unique as it is indescribable. This is the latest in Bentley’s Coachbuilt collection and is a true Grand Tourer. While there is just room for you and a friend or significant other, there is space in the back for your bags or a picnic lunch, whatever you choose.
The wraparound cockpit will make you feel like you are in control of one of the hottest sports cars on the market, which in fact, you are. This “roofless” Barchetta comes in a plethora of colors, even red for you Rush fans. But we all know that Wilt would order his in his trademark baby lavender, and I’m sure the craftsmen and women at Bentley would be happy to oblige.
If you are wondering whatever happened to Wilt’s famous ’61 Continental Convertible, it has been restored by a dealer on the West Coast.
For the future, things look bright for Bentley with a collection of handmade sedans, coupes, SUVs, and sports cars that is second to none in luxury and performance, styled to your exacting specifications. An NBA superstar like Wilt Chamberlain wouldn’t have had it any other way.