HomeCar CultureBentley uses historic Polaroid camera to produce centennial book

Bentley uses historic Polaroid camera to produce centennial book


As part of its centennial celebration, Bentley is publishing a limited-edition Centenary Opus book featuring its vehicles in photographs taken by a historic Polaroid 20×24 Land Camera.

“While the ground-breaking camera has been used previously to capture Hollywood celebrities and world leaders, this is the first time that the world’s largest Polaroid camera has been used to photograph an automotive brand,” Bentley said in its news release.

Bentley’s photographed with the camera are the 1919 EXP 2, 1952 R-Type Continental, 1930s 8-Liter, the new Continental GT, and the 2003 Speed 8 that won at Le Mans.

“This exclusive imagery will be used to create a special chapter in the forthcoming Bentley Centenary Opus book,” the company added.

The photo shoot

The Polaroid 20×24 camera dates to 1976 and is one of only five examples produced. They are the largest Polaroid cameras, standing nearly 5 feet in height and weighing more than 235 pounds.

Because of the rarity of the film used by the camera, the one used for the Bentley photos is being retired to a museum.

“Having transformed instant photography by offering large-scale, one-of-a-kind originals with incredibly rich colors, tremendous detail, and exquisitely shallow focus, the landmark Polaroid Land Camera has been used by the world’s foremost photorealists and photographers,” Bentley’s news release noted.

Camera weighs more than 235 pounds

But the camera isn’t the only heavyweight aspect of the book’s publication. Each of the books will weigh more than 65 pounds and will feature fold-out pages designed “to do justice to the never-seen-before imagery, with special gatefold pages measuring two meters (6 1/2 feet) across.”

The book will be available in three versions — Mulliner and Centenary large-format versions, and Crewe editions in “a more accessible size.” 

The book will be available in 2019, Bentley said.

For more information including pre-orders and reservations visit the Bentley Opus website.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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