September 29, 2023

Bentley Continental as a pickup: the world’s finest pickup

Carving a pickup out of an expensive luxury sedan isn’t necessarily a day job. Not even in the DC Customs of Great Britain, where the standard tuning set – louder, deeper, more colorful – is usually served. However, with the Bentley Continental, a different house number came on the mechanics from DC Customs. At the request of the customer, they converted a used Continental that was already heavily used into a one-of-a-kind vehicle that is supposed to cause real alarms in the neighborhood. And this very special car is now available for purchase, more on that at the end of this article. First the facts.

What is this actually?

Passenger pickups were very popular in the USA, perhaps the most famous representative of which was the fifth generation Chevrolet El Camino built between 1959 and 1987. But there were also load area cars in Europe: the Skoda Felica Fun rolled off the assembly line From 1995 to 2000 even the Wartburg 353 of the former GDR was available as a “Trans” pickup version. But the biggest fans of this design are the Australians, as this body type is called Ute (versatile vehicle). The Holden Ute rolled off the assembly line there from 2000 to 2017 – and Ford still produces the Falcon Ute. However, the British attach importance to the fact that only our “Australian friends” use the term Ute. English restoration specialist DC Classics from Dudley, 13 kilometers west of Birmingham, has converted a 2005 Bentley Continental into a pickup. DC Customs calls the Model Variant Decadence and the car’s owner, Carl Chambers, confirms that the conversion isn’t really a ute.

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Andrey Jovea

DC Classics covered the floor of the loading area with a wooden yacht floor. The loading area is equipped with wooden lockers on the side walls.

Executed successfully

Even after the conversion, the Continental is still a very upscale car – the front row and luxurious cockpit remain unchanged. The loading area in the driver’s cab merges into a visually moved forward C-pillar. The shoulder line appears longer due to the cabin’s shortening, which doesn’t compromise appearance from the front—overall, the body specialists at DC Customs have pulled off a surprisingly cohesive conversion. And that’s what Chambers really wanted: The decadence pickup had to look as if Bentley had built it themselves. In 2005, the Continental cost £130,000 (currently equivalent to about €152,792), and now he bought it for £25,000 (€29,383). Many retrofit parts, such as wheels, can be obtained very cheaply in the USA. On disassembly, you notice Bentley quality – and original parts are very expensive.

Bentley Flying Spur Decadence Pickup

Andrey Jovea

The designers at DC Classics have kept Bentley’s stretch lines elegantly.

Cargo area with yacht equipment

The back of Continental Decadence is no place to toss a few bales of hay or haul a load of construction waste to the landfill. Chambers wanted the stern cabin to be modeled on Riva Yachts. DC Customs therefore fitted the noble’s rear cabin with a teak wood floor, wooden access doors for the two batteries, and wooden side lockers.

More than 100 HP engine

The W12 engine of the 2005 Continental GT develops 560 horsepower in stock condition. Chambers is pleased with the unit’s durability and the fact that an additional 100 horsepower is possible with simple engine control intervention. So the Bentley Decadence pickup is on the road with 660 hp.

Bentley Flying Spur Decadence Pickup

Andrey Jovea

The back seat is missing: If you want to see the truck from the front, you have to look closely at the cabin.

Worked more than expected

The Chambers conversion and base vehicle cost 150,000 pounds (about 175,000 euros). D.C. customs officials assure you that you can certainly think they are crazy about this venture. It was a lot more work than expected and even now the experts are still wondering if they should accept the job. Of course, the builders are pleased that they have successfully completed the Bentley Decadence pickup. They stress that Bentley was very helpful in resolving any issues during the construction phase.

After completion in mid 2021, it appears the customer and owner of this exceptional treasure has other plans, as the car has been cleaned, freshly polished and advertised on UK sales website Apparently at cost, if the above amount is correct, because the seller is advertising the pick-up for £149,950 for sale. So, if you currently have about 175,000 euros and have always been looking for a flashy painted twelve-cylinder pickup: now’s your chance!

Bentley as a pickup truck – you have to come up with this idea first. Of course there is the Bentayga SUV – but SUVs are still trendy. The pickup is a rare design with the utilitarian air that hardly anyone would think of a Bentley as the quintessential car. DC Customs did it anyway and turned the Continental into a pickup truck. It’s on sale now.