A new era of coachbuilding is about to begin.
Continuing the legacy of renowned British coachbuilder H. J. Mulliner & Co., Bentley's Mulliner personalization division is applying the finishing touches of the breathtakingly beautiful Bacalar. This isn't the only iconic British coachbuilder making a comeback, however. Radford is being revived for the 21st century with three new owners at the helm: former F1 driver Jenson Button, car designer Mark Stubbs, and TV presenter and car builder Ant Anstead.
Under this new ownership, Radford will "create contemporary luxury commissions true to classic timeless designs." Founded in 1948 as Harold Radford, the coachbuilder started building bespoke Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars after the Second World War. Its first car, the luxurious Bentley Countryman was shown at the London Motor show in 1951.
Radford was also responsible for creating the bespoke fiberglass bodywork for the prototype GT40 but the company's most famous creation was arguably its luxury version of the Mini in the 1960s featuring electric windows, a wooden steering wheel, and a posh interior that was bought by all four members of The Beatles. Radford also built 12 shooting brake versions of the Aston Martin DB5.
"To be able to help revive this iconic name is such a special and unique opportunity. The Radford brand carries such prestige and magnetism for anyone with an appreciation of cars. The work that Harold Radford and his team were responsible for in the mid 1900s is simply incredible, so I jumped at the chance to join Ant and Mark in their quest to put the 'Radford' name back in lights," said Jenson Button. "The journey has very much begun, and news of our first car will follow shortly so watch this space."
Mark Stubbs said that "It's the perfect time for the Radford brand to be rekindled. Harold Radford's creations were the ultimate in personalised, tailored transport and with the renaissance of the art of coachbuilding now is the time to bring Radford back in contemporary form. We intend to create designs that will be true to the Radford legacy and go on to create a new heritage for this storied brand. In fact, in the long time that we've been planning this, one question we will keep asking ourselves is "what would Harold do if he were here today" and that is going to shape our thinking for the exciting cars in our immediate future."
Mark Stubbs will oversee the designs, while each bespoke creation will be built by Ant Anstead. Jenson Button will then tune and test each car on the track to "offer a superlative driving experience." Details of the company's first coachbuilding project are being kept under wraps for now, but Radford says it's "already at advanced stages" and will be revealed "soon."