The Silverstone Is Probably The Weirdest, Rarest Bentley You’ve Ever Seen

If you’re wealthy — and I don’t mean just rich; I’m talking superyacht that’s bigger than most people’s homes with a helicopter pad, sub and a gold toilet with a heated seat wealthy — you have the sway to approach just about any automaker to request they design a one-off vehicle just for you. It’s kind of wild, but if you’re footing the bill for the design, engineering, etc, then why should a company say no? Many of these cars are never seen by the public. And when they are shown, they can be off-putting or straight up weird. Take the Bentley Silverstone, a car you’ve probably never heard of.

This machine is the brainchild of known dictator and damn near hoarding car collector, the Sultan of Brunei. He had an obsession for Bentleys. It’s said that of the 2,500 cars he had in his collection, 240 of them were at some point bespoke Bentley models made throughout the 1990s. And they all looked strange — like they were concept car design studies. The strangest among them was the Silverstone.

Many of the Silverstone’s details were kept under wraps. Even now, as I was digging into the internet to search for info about this thing, information was hard to come by. But based on the publicly available details, this machine feels like some sort of weird kit car.

It’s said that each Silverstone was designed by vehicle manufacturing and design firm Hawtal Whiting. The actual building of the Silverstone was handled by ASC (American Sunroof Corporation) in Detroit. And the design is… interesting.

Up front, there’s the classic Bentley wire mesh grille flanked by tri-beam headlights. There looks to be driving lights right below the headlights, and below all that, there are some weird bumper protrusions that throw everything off. At the very bottom of this weird stack are some lower air dams. The hood has dual vents on either side, presumably for cooling and for the weird turn signal indicators set into the top of the front fenders.

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Around back, there’s an oval-shaped rear window that reminds me of the third-generation Ford Taurus. Then it sweeps into an art deco-like rear deck with bumper-mounted backup lights and black tail lights that are almost invisible on dark-colored versions. Weird right? Well, just you wait; it gets weirder.

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The finished car was a two-door convertible with a folding metal hardtop, though some pictures (like the one above) show an example with a targa roof. Power reportedly came from a version of the same 6.75-liter “Sufacon” V8 used in the Continental R, just with a reworked exhaust system so it would be louder. And it’s rare. From what I could find, just eight were ever made: six in 1994 and two in 1995. It’s certainly unique, but not in a good way.

It’s not known how much each of these things cost the Sultan, but with a rumored net worth of $30 billion, he could afford each and every one. Unfortunately, his penchant for cars cost him dearly. The collection grew so large that it ultimately led his family to a financial crisis. Many of the cars ended up in disrepair due to lack of driving and maintenance and were beyond saving. Others got auctioned off. It’s doubtful the Silverstones or any of the other one-off Bentleys survived.


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