TodayApril 15, 2022

A Bentley pen worth writing a novel about

An elegant pen for a historied novel

  • Bentley is celebrating the 90th anniversary of the famous “Blue Train Race,” the Bentley “Limited Edition Barnato” pen series.
  • Inspired by Woolf Barnato, who plays an extraordinary part in Bentley’s history as one of the original Bentley Boys
  • Each limited edition pen features Barnato’s handwritten signature on the cap, and the barrels are lacquered in his signature green.
  • Exclusively limited to just 1,930 pieces in honor of the year of the “Blue Train Race.”

The whole article could be stated in two words, just beautiful. But there are so many words that could be written so why not write them with a beautiful pen created by Graf von Faber-Castell.

The “Blue Train Race” is woven into Bentley’s heritage fabric, and ‘Bentley Boy’ Woolf Barnato endures as the icon of this tale. Ninety years on, Bentley’s partner, Graf von Faber-Castell, has created a truly unique set of writing instruments in tribute to this race and to Barnato himself. Not only does their design reflect the decades of performance and elegance that succeed him, but his handwritten signature imprinted on the cap ensures his authentic presence endures.

Bentley and Graf von Faber-Castell have been in partnership since 2018, sharing a passion for unrivaled craftsmanship and unmistakable design. The spirit of Bentley legend Woolf Barnato lives on through the latest collaboration between the two brands, with writing instruments that combine modern luxury with extraordinary timelessness.

Each exquisite pen within the new series features a lacquered metal barrel in the characteristic dark ‘racing’ green often associated with Barnato. The barrel is carefully hand-guilloched in the signature diamond pattern that forms a vital part of Bentley’s design language. The chrome-plated front and end section of the pen also gleams in a dark green glaze. The cap is adorned with the iconic Bentley B, Bentley-style knurling, and Woolf Barnato’s original, handwritten signature as a reminder of the extraordinary spirit that lives on at Bentley today.

Just 1,930 pieces have been made by Graf von Faber-Castell and Bentley to honor the year of the famous “Blue Train” Race in 1930, and the edition number is engraved on the threaded ring of each pen.

One of the original Bentley Boys, Woolf Barnato was a three-time Le Mans winner and Managing Director of Bentley Motors from 1926-1931; he lived a life of glamour, speed, and adventure. He often proudly told the story of the “Blue Train Race,” in which he made a bet that he could reach London from Cannes in his Bentley Speed Six before the Le Train Bleu made it from Cannes to Calais. Of course, Barnato seemingly effortlessly beat the train with just minutes to spare.

Few cars embody the glamour, speed, and power of the pre-war Bentley era better than the ‘Blue Train’ Bentley Speed Six. The Blue Train itself, officially the Calais-Mediterranée Express, was the luxurious express night train that famously whisked the rich and famous from Calais to the French Riviera in luxury and style. Barnato’s claim that he could beat it with his Bentley was bold and audacious, but the bet paid off, and he succeeded in style. It is said that Barnato made the race bet with a friend while at a dinner party on board a yacht near Cannes. Call me crazy, but I would put money on it that liquor was involved.

This legendary tale and Barnato’s confident spirit were the inspiration behind Graf von Faber-Castell’s latest collection of limited edition pens for Bentley. Created from the finest materials and assembled by master craftsmen, these writing instruments are built for performance on paper, and the designs are simply elegant.

This series features three options;

  • the Fountain pen with a high-quality stainless steel nib, available in widths M, F, EF, and B and with a cartridge converter system;
  • the Rollerball pen with a precision point that glides smoothly over the paper (my favorite)
  • And the Ballpoint pen equipped with a large capacity refill in a standard size.

Graf von Faber-Castell for Bentley writing instruments are available to order online via The range is available to pre-order now for delivery in early November 2020.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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