First U.S. Bentley Brooklands Coupe Auctioned for $450,000 During Naples Winter Wine Festival
NAPLES, Fla., Jan. 26 -- The first Bentley Brooklands coupe destined for the U.S. market has been purchased for $450,000 at a charity auction held during the 2008 Naples Winter Wine Festival. The $14 million from the auction sale will directly benefit the Naples Children and Education Foundation, which supports charitable and educational programs to improve the physical, emotional and educational lives of underprivileged or at-risk children.
Monte and Usha Ahuja placed the winning bid of the first Brooklands coupe destined for the U.S. market, with delivery estimated to take place in the second quarter this year. The $450,000 auction price ranks as one of the highest ever paid for a lot in the wine festival's eight-year history.
"We are truly heartened by Mr and Mrs Monte Ahuja's generous bid for the first Bentley Brooklands destined for the U.S. market," said Christophe Georges, Chief Operating Officer for Bentley Motors, Inc. "We are delighted to be associated with the Naples Winter Wine Festival recognising its contribution to the Naples Children and Education Foundation which benefits so many deserving children in the south Florida community."
The 2009 Bentley Brooklands is a stunning new model that marks Bentley's return to the luxury coupe market and reaffirms the company's reputation as creator of the world's most exclusive coupes. It is the ultimate Bentley: a stylish, four-seat, grand touring coupe with classic British proportions and muscular performance.
Introduced at the 77th Geneva International Motor Show last year, Bentley Brooklands has rapidly captured the praise of international press and the hearts of luxury aficionados worldwide.
Brooklands is destined to be a collectors' classic due to its limited production run coupled with Bentley's world class attention to detail. Each Brooklands coupe will be hand-assembled, employing traditional coach-building techniques and the craftsmanship skills in wood veneer and leather hide for which Bentley is renowned.
Naples Winter Wine Festival
The 8th annual Naples Winter Wine Festival has brought together many of the world's finest vintners and chefs with wine collectors and other bidders for a three-day gala to benefit the Naples Children and Education Foundation. The charity's vision is to make a profound and sustaining difference in the quality of children's lives.
Since its inception in 2001, the Naples Winter Wine Festival has raised $55.5 million for children in need, with a record $15.6 million raised under the auction tent in 2007.
Bentley worldwide sales in 2007 rose 7 percent to 10,014 units. In North America, nearly 4,200 Bentley's were delivered to customers in 2007, up from just over 4,000 the year prior. This growth reflects the continued success of the full Continental range of products plus growing demand for the company's premium range of cars.
Bentley Motors, Inc. is the Sales, Marketing and distribution channel for Bentley brand products sold in North America. Headquartered in Auburn Hills, MI., Bentley Motors, Inc. has approximately 65 employees and 43 dealerships throughout the region. Motor vehicles such as the Bentley Arnage, Azure convertible, Continental GT coupe, Continental Flying Spur sedan and Continental GTC convertible accounted for more than 4,200 sales in 2007.