he Monaco Bentley Club was founded three years ago by Jean Bernard, a passionate person by life and the Art of living since ever. The club aims to gather people from diverse origins, ages, countries, and cultures around a common passion: The Bentley's culture but not only. The Monaco Bentley Club is very dynamic, with an average age of 40 years old for its members, which is relatively young for a private automotive club of this magnitude.
In the beginning, Jean Bernard offers to the historic Bentley Club to open a new branch in Monaco for multiple reasons. First, out of necessity resulting from the request of the owners of Bentley, who needed help to bring back their cars in Monaco from exotic destinations. But also all the administrative aspects such as how to register their vehicles, even find the best value for money concerning various providers they need to maintain their little jewel at best.
Today, the Monaco Bentley Club counts about 350 members, of which more than half are women. Between 70 and 80 members live in the Principality of Monaco. The other part is fellows passing by Monaco, from Switzerland, Germany, the UK…
For two years, the club has taken its freedom from the historic Bentley Club and uses member dues to organize activities and events. They do Rallyes, picnics, gala dinners, days on circuit, circuit on ice, and more. The idea is to offer a memorable time together, sharing their passion. It’s a club that’s starting to federate around a spirit that goes far beyond Bentley. It is elementary to say that the club is not directly connected to the Bentley brand. Still, Jean likes to say that members keep the brand alive as they buy cars, but the club is entirely independent of the car manufacturer.
Besides, Jean became the “godfather” of his members, offering unexpected services. He is finding the best insurance, best services such as garages. Some have difficulties registering their car, so they can do it in the club’s name. Still, the most surprising one is when Jean turns into a guardian angel for his members and takes them out of custody in the middle of the night following a speeding while their cars are seized for sale.
The deep mission of the club, according to Jean, and its very essence is to help each other. Jean doesn’t want to glorify high speed. That’s the reason why he initiated a road safety association,
raising awareness among members, motivating them to ride on circuits, and organizing days at the Castellet’s Circuit Paul Ricard. There are official Bentley drivers as fellows of the club, and Jean relies on them to show the other members the importance of driving on a circuit.
Jean Todt, the president of the FIA (International Automobile Federation), conceded this tragedy that 500 children die every day on the side of the road going to school in the world. Protecting the youth is essential, so in every automobile club, members can donate 10€ in addition to their annual dues to make a gesture for road protection.
The Ecological Transition
The Monaco Bentley Club has been contacted by the actors of the Climate Change Forum, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Prince Charles in the UK, and Cheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE, to know their point of view on climate change. They are very involved and committed to the ecological compromise; they want to boost electric conversions, restore cars from the 1960s for the ones worth repairing in their original conditions, and refurbish the cars by turning them into electric. Indeed, this fits a new market, a new generation of consumers.
It is obvious then that the club is taking action in this way. Last October, they launched their new digital member cards, enabling them to share their personal information. These are small actions that allow saving paper.
Back To The Bentley Culture
Bentley is an authentic culture, more than 100 years old, born in the aftermath of the First World War, a devastating period following the Roaring Twenties, where a particular momentum was found.
“Bentley was born with aviation. The engineers are to find themselves reconverting in aviation during the war. The English aristocrats who came back from the frond have found the adrenalin with the car they had known with the planes. It was the beginning of the performance; they had to learn to tame their machine.” said Bernard; “100 years later, rolling a Bentley does not provide the same sensations as in the Bentley Boys era.”
After all the pandemic period, Jean would like to find the particular momentum of the Roaring Twenties again.
As he brilliantly said, there are three kinds of people, the 3I: the innovative, the imitator, and the idiot. He is passionate about many things and loves to create new, crazy something, so he puts himself in the “innovative people” category. Indeed, for a few years, they have been thinking about creating a sport that will give a feeling that open road driving doesn’t make it possible, doing something very chic and innovative: playing Polo on the water.
In short, the automobile serves as cement and a means to do something else, live our passions. In the clubs generally, one looks for common points between the members but the Bentley Club of Monaco seeks its peculiarity in the differences of each one. There are princes and princesses, car champions, ordinary people unlikely to meet anywhere else, and here we find a hyphen. A young person similar to a retiree living their dreams, to remake a Bentley with small means and find the equal of the great of this world, they all have a great passion in addition to the car they adore sharing, which makes it a pretty magical club.
You will find more and more Bentley in Monaco; Casino Square is the iconic place where everyone shows his beautiful car. A quarter of the vehicles today are from Bentley, so on Instagram, they had fun creating the #BentleySquare; same on google map when we type Bentley square, we land on the Casino Square area. A nice nod to the Principality of Monaco.