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Designing the dream motor

Home and wardrobe looking mighty fine? Well now you can extend your styling skills to your car. Muddy roadtests Bentley's customisation service at Harwoods, the independent Sussex dealership specialising in lustworthy, oh, and practical, family motors.

Many years ago I got told by one of THOSE men that ‘feminists don’t care about the colour of their car’ because such trivialities are supposedly beneath us. Er, excuse me? Clearly he had no idea of the enormous power of colour psychology, and the entire multi-billion-pound fashion industry pretty much created because we all love, um, colour.

When you consider that after homes, cars are probably our largest investment purchases, really why wouldn’t any of us, male or female, care very much what colour car we drive?

Luckily car manufacturers are waking up to this too, and you might have noticed, as have I, that showrooms are stocked less with wall-to-wall silver cars (so coloured to ‘show off the lines’ but nonetheless verging on snooze-worthy) and more with brightly-coloured numbers.

This represents a change in what customers want, according to Paul Laker, senior sales executive for Bentley Sussex at Pulborough-based Harwoods Group. Discerning customers (like you and I, obvs) are in fact very interested in what colour car we drive. And to demonstrate, Harwoods have invited me down to the showroom to show me the myriad of options available.

Let’s face it, if you’re splashing out on a serious investment family car like the Bentayga (which Muddy reviewed recently) you want to get maximum bang for your megabucks. Who wants to drive away in silver when you could choose from fun, punchy shades including, to my complete delight, a pearlescent Passion Pink. How do you like me and my Passion Pink Bentley now, Mr ‘Feminists-Don’t-Care-What-Colour-Their-Car-Is?!

I’m also very taken with the Apple Green and the Monaco Yellow for a real colour pop. Not for you? How about baby blues, pearlescent purples and dazzling aquamarines, or the classic show-stopping red? These aren’t colours I’d have associated with Bentley, but according to Paul, their new market of young families and couples are moving away from traditional, conservative palettes into bolder statement shades.

The fun continues with the internal customisation on offer. From seat covers to the trim and stitching, everything can be tailored to your specifications. We put together a really classic, but slightly 80s, vibe for the yellow paint job, with a warm, dark brown Burnt Oak hide interior and really sleek aluminium trim. If you wanted to go even further you could have your initials embroidered into your headrest. (Who knew?) The whole commissioning process is incredibly good fun.

At the end of the day, you buy an aspirational vehicle for the way it makes you feel and every step of the process at Harwoods makes you feel special. The second I’m in the market for a Passion Pink or Monaco Yellow Bentayga, I know where I’ll be headed.

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