The arrival of Bentley’s Bentayga SUV has opened up a whole new world of personalisation possibilities. Mulliner, the marque’s specialist personalisation workshop, was originally a coach-building firm and will still make you a special Bentley body if you really want one, but nowadays it focuses largely on bespoke interior and exterior touches for existing models – and the extra boot space offered by the Bentayga has enabled the master craftsmen of Crewe to go to town on creating various high-end accessories with which to fill it.
When I road-tested the car recently for How To Spend It, I referred to the custom-fitted Linley-designed, picnic hamper and built-in fridge that appears on the Bentayga options list. But a summer angling trip to Iceland revealed that the sky is more or less the limit when it comes to equipping your Bentayga with sporting accessories. The installation I saw (about £80,000 on top of the basic price of a Bentayga) was accessorised with a full complement of fly-fishing gear – a beautifully finished kit, made from hardwood, hide and aluminium, which included a slide-out cabinet fitted with drawers for waders, spare line, hooks and flies, as well as leather-bound canisters for housing reels. It even had a built-in fly-tying station complete with demountable vice. Rods, meanwhile, are held in a series of leather-bound tubes that clip neatly into the roof, while a selection of airtight bags prevent the car’s interior being pervaded by fishy smells from used gear. There’s also a place to store flasks for tea, coffee and other essential “refreshments”.
The set-up is the result of exhaustive consultations with professional anglers. “We know all about making bespoke additions for Bentleys,” says Geoff Dowding, director of Bentley Mulliner, “but we’re not fishing experts – so we went to people who really know the sport in order to determine what was required.” But this is just one example of what can be done; Mulliner will “bespeak” virtually anything for the car, from cabinets for shooting gear to storage solutions for polo kit and even hawking paraphernalia.