Bentley Motors: Luxury Cars
Credit: Courtesy of Bentley Motors

Bentley holds two Royal Warrants; one by HM The Queen granted in 1955 and the other by HRH The Prince of Wales granted in 1996. The Queen has her own Bentley Mulsanne, which she apparently loves, and the company also traditionally builds the state limousine by hand. A one-off car, the limousine takes 2,500 man-hours to construct. The safety features are elaborate and the windows are custom built to make sure pedestrians can see the august occupant.

Riding in a Mulsanne is a singular experience because the inside of the car – with its flat dash and dials reminiscent of early 20th-century cars – proves such a distraction that one tends to get lost. When the Queen visited the Bentley booth at the Coronation Jubilee, she was very interested in a demonstration where a leatherworker marked the placement of stitching by imprinting the leather with the tines of a fork. He saw her watching and remarked, "For you madam, it would be a silver fork."

One thousand Mulsannes come off the line each year, so get your order in now. You can get a 2013 model for just under $300,000. [bentleymotors.com]