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2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S: The classiest hot rod on the bright yellow block

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It wants to stand out…

From the color, to the noise, the 2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S is a high-dollar luxury droptop that looks to make its presence known. It’s the noise that has me most interested, of course, as the color is not my cup of delightful British tea. The noise is produced by the 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine mounted under the hood. It generates 521 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque.

That’s enough to make the 0-60 run in just over four seconds. It’s also enough to propel this not-so-light on its feet brawler on to its top speed of 191 miles per hour.

Did I say “stand out”? I meant blast out…

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Video Review: 2013 Bentley Mulsanne
An ultra-lux locomotive

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There’s luxury cars, and then there are top tier one-percent mobiles. The 2013 Bentley Mulsanne falls into the category occupied by car shoppers who can also shop for large boats, small planes, and huge houses. It has to be rather upscale inside. It also has to deliver a unique driving experience. This isn’t a Rolls-Royce, which seems built to place the owner solely in the back seat of the car to be shuttled to and fro.

A Bentley, however, enjoys being driven…

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Video Review: 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed Le Mans Edition
A wolf in Woolf’s clothing

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If you spy a Bentley on the road, odds are that it will be a Continental GT. It’s cool to spot an older car, and interesting to see a new sedan as those rides are fairly rare. Still, there exists a variation of the Continental GT that is fare more interesting than the V8-equipped variants plodding from the business park to the golf course. You see, Bentley has a rich history behind it filled with wild men who enjoyed pushing all manner of machines to their limits. That’s why Bentley has been successful in a number of races long ago, and more recently with a Le Mans win a few years back.

To celebrate that history, Bentley has produced a number of limited-edition Le Mans cars. There are six variations offered across a variety of Continental GT and Mulsanne coupes, convertibles, and stately sedans. The most interesting of that bunch? The GT Speed, of course. Thanks to its W12 engine, Granite over Hotspur color combination, and Bentley Boy inspiration, the Woolf Barnato-honoring GT Speed is the one we’d take given the chance.

We were, in fact given the chance.. and we took it, if only for the weekend. 

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A cemetery in Hollywood and the Bentley Flying Spur Series 51

Movie making and Hollywood have been intertwined since the start of the 20th century. Director D.W. Griffith, best known for the film Birth of  a Nation, was the first person to film a movie in Hollywood. The 17-minute work was titled In Old California, and was shot entirely in an area known as the village of Hollywood. Fast forward a century and modern Hollywood is the epicenter of the film industry, and a major tourist attraction for those visiting Southern California.

Not everything lasts in Hollywood, however, including the very stars upon which the industry counts on to keep the money machine churning. Like everybody else on the planet, they die. That doesn’t mean they are forgotten, and one of the areas where the last bits of their twinkling lives might continue to shine is in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Take a stroll through the resting places of the residents, and you’ll come across names like Mel Blanc, Cecil B. Demille, George Harrison,  Dee Dee and Johnny Ramone, Bugsy Siegel, the dog that played Toto in the Wizard of Oz, and many others. It’s a who’s who of dead famous folks.

The grounds are also home to a unique move experience run by a group called . During the warmer season (yes, there is a warm “season” in Southern California), a lush patch of grass becomes the seating area for a handpicked film that’s projected upon the large side wall of a building on the cemetery grounds. Cinespia celebrated its 10th season in 2011, and my wife and I wanted to experience it for ourselves.

A classic bit of Hollywood needs to be approached in a vehicle that adheres to the look-at-me set. Good timing then that the Volkswagen-looking key fob in my hand has the Bentley log on it.

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2010 Bentley Continental GTC Speed

Every one of us has driven a car that, for one reason or another, is significant for any given reason. Be it the oldest or the newest, slowest or the fastest, or any other number of titles we apply to a given vehicle. I had a 1987 Honda Prelude that was my first vehicle. The 1982 BMW 633 CSi that serves as The Uberbird is the oldest car I have ever purchased. For one glorious weekend I held in my hands the keys to a different type of vehicle: the 2010 Bentley Continental GTC Speed, a vehicle that is both the most expensive and the most powerful vehicle I have ever driven. One question remains after my very comfortable three days with this British-bred Luxury Rocket Sled: is all the power worth the price? … Continue Reading