Investing in Our Future
At Vintage Bentley we are passionate about teaching the next generation how to maintain and run pre-war motor cars, such as the much-loved Bentleys that we are so renowned for. We believe it is of the highest importance that up-and-coming engineers learn the ways of the motor cars of the yesteryear, to keep such brilliant creations alive and competing – as they were designed to do – for the foreseeable future. As a result, we have teamed with the Southampton Engineering Training Association (SETA) to train up apprentices and teach them our extensive knowledge of all things vintage Bentleys.
Our apprentices will learn everything that they could desire about pre-war Bentleys, from machining new parts, rebuilding engines and how to fully service a vintage Bentley. Currently, we have three apprentices working with Vintage Bentley, one in the workshop, one in the manufacturing department and one in the engine room. Every three months the apprentices will switch roles, allowing each of them to learn the three core departments of how to maintain and care for a pre-war automobile. Our apprentices all start with differing levels of knowledge and on multiple courses. Our goal is to have imparted key knowledge to our apprentices over the three-year course. At the end of the course, apprentices are often awarded the opportunity to become a valued member of the Vintage Bentley team.
In the machining department, apprentices will learn hand skills – turning and milling, to create parts and modify parts of the Bentleys. In addition, they are taught how to operate our state-of-the-art CNC machines and be involved in our secret world of research and development.
In the engine room, apprentices are taught the fundamentals of a vintage Bentley engine. They are taught how to strip and measure components, and how to assemble engines working to strict tolerances to ensure efficient operation. They also get involved with road, rally and race engine tuning. In the workshop, each apprentice is taught where each and every part goes on the cars, to make them proficient in vintage Bentleys and efficient at rebuilding them. Moreover, they are coached on how to fully service and repair any vintage Bentley, whether it be here or abroad.
In additional to learning the fundamentals of vintage Bentley preservation, the apprentices are set projects to help move our industry forwards. Currently, our skilled apprentices are working on building a bespoke wiring loom which will be universal for all pre-war Bentleys. This will allow each and every Bentley to work off one wiring loom design, allowing easy modification for auxiliary devices and a cheaper cost due to the lack of preparation and modification needed for each individual car. The one of a kind wiring looms will also be stocked by Vintage Bentley for public sale. The opportunity to work with vintage Bentleys and to learn the ins and outs of such pioneering machines is a very rare circumstance for many people. During the three year apprenticeship modern and classic techniques are instilled into our apprentices, to help keep vintage Bentleys alive for future generations.