2009 Bentley Brooklands – Click above for high-res image gallery As the youngest of three brothers, I'm used to hand-me-downs. Hand-me down toys, hand-me-down clothes, and yes, even hand-me-down cars. Perhaps this explains when a vehicle arrives in the Autoblog Garage with over 8,000 journalist-driven miles on its odometer (as most do), I don't mind. Though the scars of past judgments are often plain to see, we're happy enough to be reviewing these vehicles at all. Last Wednesday I stepped off a plane at Newark Liberty International Airport and into a 2009 Bentley Brooklands. My mission was to drive it some 550 miles to Cleveland, OH where it would be picked up and driven back to Bentley's North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI. When I got in, the odometer read 285 miles... total. I realized then that this was no hand-me-down review vehicle. Having been parked in Bentley's display at the 2008 New York Auto Show for the past three weeks, this Brooklands was taking its maiden voyage on U.S. soil with me at the helm. %Gallery-20446% Photos Copyright ©2008 John Neff / Weblogs, Inc. One of only 550 that will ever be built and one of just two in the United States right now (the other is parked at Manhattan Motorcars in New York City), the Brooklands I drove is the most expensive and rare vehicle in Bentley's lineup. It has a base price of $340,990, though this one was optioned up to $391,465 with items like 20-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels; an interior comprised entirely of Burnt Oak leather hides, Burr Walnut wood veneers and chromed stainless steel; and the world's largest carbon ceramic disc brakes. And so, standing outside of Newark's airport feeling all kinds of unworthy, I hopped in the virgin Brooklands and set off on my trek across New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The first thing you need to know about the Bentley Brooklands is that it's not what you expect for nearly $400,000. There is no keyless entry or remote start, no redundant controls for the stereo on the steering wheel, and the car will not park itself. Whiz-bang electronic gadgets are conspicuously absent in the Brooklands. It does have a navigation screen that pops up on top of the dash, but it requires a remote to interface with that was removed for the car's stint at the New York Auto Show. There's also no satellite radio, no iPod jack and the radio antenna extends like a fishing pole from the driver's side rear fender. I realized that instead of occupying my time with the myriad of in-car entertainment options offered in lesser vehicles, my driving companions would be the few felled trees, couple of cow hides and tons of aluminum and steel that comprise the Brooklands. Starting this vehicle requires inserting the jack knife-style key in the ignition, turning it and hitting the "ENGINE START" button on the center console. What lay before you is more leather and wood than in a …
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|MPG||10 City / 14 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||530 @ 4000 rpm|
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