Dashing designer Duncan Quinn—aka DRIVEN’s own 007—made the rounds of the top-drawer events at the New York Auto Show.

Here’s Part II of his report from the perfectly appointed front lines…

Of course, as it was the week of the New York Auto Show, I decided a rather debaucherous dinner was in order.

Everyone else was throwing a party, so why couldn’t I?

And if it was worth doing, surely it was even more worth doing with Krug flowing like water and winemaker Sean Thackrey making a very rare guest appearance with magnums from his own cellar….

Thus it was with rather a foggy head that I came to look at the Bentley EXP 9F concept.

Click to enlarge

I went along because I felt obliged to, rather than through any burning desire to see a newly created Chelsea Tractor that was about 20 years too late to market to capture the droves of Sloane Rangers zipping down Kings Road in London, with their snotty little rotters strapped into the Maclaren child-seat.

The only problem with that is that I loved it.

From the aggressive grille to the massively chunky wheels and the built-in picnic hampers in the boot, it was a sublime upgrade of the gentleman farmer’s wheels.

It doesn’t run yet and is purely a design study put together by the incredibly talented artisans in Crewe, but I can close my eyes and see it running amok up hill and down dale not long from now with a waiting list as long as my arm.

Click to enlarge

I was lucky enough to catch up with Christophe Georges, the CEO of Bentley North America, for lunch not long after I’d seen it, and as we chatted about life, the universe and everything, we touched briefly on the EXP 9F and just how tasty I thought it looked.

He said it may change a little as it evolves into the car it will be at the point it goes on sale, but the essence is there.

As with everything Bentley does, they do not do it lightly, and I’m sure the only obstacle in its path will be the odd, very old wall or two that needs to lose a little for the gates to the farm (or town house) to be widened to fit it through.

In among all the champagne, vino and canapés that were flying around, it was easy to get lost in the mix. And with that in mind, it seems Jaguar decided that it was time to charge headlong off the reservation with something quirky and different—a graffiti’d XKR.

Click to enlarge

It’s not every day you can be happy that your Jag got tagged.

Unless it was Banksy.

Or Kaves.

And not wanting to miss the party entirely, Ian Callum (Jaguar’s design director) was also going to step up and legitimize Kaves’s hard work by signing the XKR in his own signature script.

What was formerly a quite fancy two-seat sportscar that has a tendency to go sideways in swathes of smoke in a way I very much applaud was about to become a rather different work of art.

Click to enlarge

Kaves is certainly a well accomplished and very talented character, and his creative juices have flown for everyone from the Beastie Boys to Beaujolais Nouveau, but this particular project was clearly a step into another realm.

Part manga, a whole lot of Brooklyn attitude, and then the beast that lay beneath made it a one-of-a kind special that I am still pondering.

If I were going to take it for a spin, where would I take it?

Probably the middle of the crosswalk at Shibuya in Tokyo for donuts during rush hour.

Now there’s a thought.


Bentley EXP 9F: ***** (5/5) The Tractor of the Future

Jaguar XJR “Kaves Special”: **** (4/5) More Colorful Smoke, Thank Your Average Jag