“I had it from new, you know. It wasn’t a car, it was more a sort of whole body glove.”
– p. 340
While it might be typical of the demon Crowley to have all that is cutting-edge and unreasonably priced, there is one thing that he owns that does not live up to his high-tech, sleek lifestyle: a 1926 black Bentley that he has owned from new — “he’d looked after it” (14).
Often referred to simply as “the Bentley”, the car is clearly very important to Crowley, an extension of his person in a way. He is capable of operating it without physically driving it (257), and has kept the car scratch-free for over sixty years (280).
The Bentley seems to have developed a personality all its own, however. One of the vehicle’s most outrageous traits is the fact that any tape left in it for over a fortnight turns into a Best of Queen tape (14). This occurs in spite of the fact that a 1926 Bentley would not have had the place or electronics necessary for a tapedeck, which undoubtedly appeared in the car because “Crowley automatically assumed that all vehicles he drove would have cassette players and therefore this one did” (347; though this piece of narration is in reference to another car that he drives in the novel). The car has also adapted to speeds and maneuvers that should be impossible for a automobile its age, as Crowley has grown accustomed to taking corners on two wheels and driving down Oxford Street at ninety miles an hour (78).
It also doesn’t need petrol (20).
Crowley is very sensitive about the appearance of his car, mending any bump or nick it gets with a glare. He shows particular irritation when Aziraphale puts a luggage rack on the car without asking, but it seems that his real frustration stems from the fact that the luggage rack has tartan straps, a decidedly unstylish look (82-84).
During the Armageddon Incident, Crowley is forced to put the Bentley through a devastating ride, during which the car catches fire and is burnt to a crisp, but Crowley keeps the Bentley together using only his demonic willpower because he “had started the journey in his Bentley, and he was damned if he wasn’t going to finish it in the Bentley as well” (289). The demon’s loyalty to the car is not to be disputed.
Luckily, he gets the car back in pristine shape in the end, thanks to Adam Young: “there it was, large as life. Right there in the street. You can’t tell the difference” (358).
Crowley can likely be found driving the Bentley at ninety miles an hour down Oxford Street to this day.
Edition referenced in this article: US William Morrow hardcover (2006)
Written by Emily