- Old Royce advertisement knocks Bentley
- Silver Cloud, Bentley S1 mechanically indistinguishable
- Wither Bentley beneath the mighty RR
By Gunnar Heinrich | IMG via Jim Mahoney
“PEOPLE who feel diffident about driving a Rolls-Royce can buy a Bentley.”
Diffident. Let’s look that one up, shall we?
Merriam Webster: adj. hesitant in acting or speaking through lack of self-confidence.
Thought as much.
This helpful suggestion, part of 13 sales points Rolls-Royce’s marketing department pitched in the above 50’s advert reads like a real put-down for Bentley today.
The language underscores decades of Bentley’s withering under the shadow of the double R’s; adding layers to the bitterness of Royce’s hostile takeover of W.O.’s concern during the Great Depression.
“The Bentley is made by Rolls-Royce. Except for the radiators, they are identical motorcars, manufactured by the same engineers in the same works. People who feel diffident about driving a Rolls-Royce can buy a Bentley.”
If you were on the Bentley sales team, and there really wasn’t such a thing in 1959, this half-hearted endorsement would ring about as true as Elvis complimenting the Beatles for That’ll Be The Day.
Fortunately for Bentley and Rolls fans, the Bentley S-Series did eventually take unique shape with coachbuilt bodies modeled leaner, more Jaguar-esque, and driver focused that the grander, upright Silver Clouds.
Vive la différence!