Bentley Continental GTC

Project Description:

We were first approached regarding the feasibility and cost of installing a single centre seatbelt for the rear of a GTC. However, upon examination, we decided that the existing seat design made this impractical. Not only was it not viable to install an additional seat belt, but also the seat design did not allow for a third passenger (however small) to sit there in any degree of comfort.

The owner, however, persisted and we began to discuss the possibility of re-designing the rear seat in its entirety. We were careful to point out that the car was not designed to have a rear bench seat, or a centre seat belt and that we could not accept any liability, or responsibility, for altering the original design. This was accepted and we agreed to take on the project. The cost was discussed and we agreed a “ceiling”, above which we would not venture!

We also agreed that it would be preferable to retain the standard seats so that the car could be returned to original in the event it was sold. This put an extra burden on us, as we would now have to fabricate the frame, shape the foam and re-trim the entire rear seat.

In the first instance we fabricated the actual frame, carefully adjusting the original design to allow for the third passenger. We examined the original frame and followed the method of fabrication very closely indeed.

Once this was completed, we passed the frame to our preferred trim company, where the foam was shaped and fitted and the seat trimmed in matching leather. Whilst this was proceeding, we worked out the ideal mounting points for the new centre seat belt having already purchased an original Bentley seatbelt.

Once all this was finished came the moment of truth, fitting the new seat back into the car, complete with the new seatbelt. Fortunately, all went according to plan. We did overrun our original time estimate by a few days, but managed to keep the cost under the agreed ceiling. Once again, we couldn’t make a full recovery of all our research and development time, but the fact that we have already had two enquiries for the same conversion bodes well for the future...

Project Details:
  • Date : Summer 2007
  • Client : Private
  • Skills : UI, UX
  • Category : Design