Does Driving a Bentley Make You Better? Go Behind The Wheel With Luke DiTella!
Being a Daily editor has its perks! Like that time we got to drive a Bentley out to the Hamptons for the day…! Did we feel superior to everyone as we sped past them in the most luxurious auto of all time? The answer is not no (even though it was borrowed. Sssh!) Being an admitted car novice, I turned to our friend and auto expert Luke DiTella to talk about the ins-and-outs of the luxury car world, and learn if driving a Bentley could be the game-changer I need. Read on to hear how this self-proclaimed “everyday guy” has found himself behind the wheel of the most exclusive cars in the world.
Tell us about your experience in the auto space—what is it that you do and how did you become an expert?
I would never consider myself an expert. I’m constantly learning and evolving in terms of my knowledge within the auto and driving space. I’ve been fortunate enough to complete my track certification as well as test drive for Vice TV, Michelin, and get behind the wheel and pilot a few of the world’s current supercars. With that said, I’d like to think that my audience looks to me for an approachable take on otherwise unapproachable cars. I’m an everyday guy that came from very, very little. I feel as though that is conveyed in the way that I approach the discussion and my appreciation for the ability to drive the automobiles I have spent some serious time in. I like to challenge the idea that super luxury vehicles are something you drive once a month. I drive many of these cars as hard and as often as possible to convey that they can and should be able to be driven daily when you are spending $300,000+ on them. Of course, there are absolutely a few exceptions to that rule and there is a short list of cars that, in my opinion, should be driven as little as possible so that they can be preserved for future auto enthusiasts to enjoy.
What is the first next-level luxury car you drove?
My version of next-level is likely vastly different from most people and probably does not carry as much of a wow factor as many would like. The first widely accepted “next-level” car I had for an extended period of time was a 2016 Aston Martin DB11, and quickly followed up by a 2017 Rolls Royce Black Badge Wraith. Both vastly different yet equally as incredible, for different reasons. The emotion and driving experience of each is something I chase regularly.
Has a flashy luxury vehicle ever been the catalyst for a funny story?
When we had the DB11, we were parked in Manhattan Beach, CA. A guy got out of a beat to sh*t Toyota Corolla and walked and asked me if it was our car (we were standing near it). Once I said yes, he proceeded to tell me everything in existence about the engine, build, materials…even down to the components used to secure the brake lining. It was borderline psychotic what he had memorized. Only for us to find out he was a tech billionaire that tended to drive around sh*tty cars to throw people off! We were invited to his house after this encounter. It was one of the more odd encounters I’ve had.
Let’s talk about Bentley! What is your first memory of Bentley?
To be completely honest, P. Diddy. In grade school. Rapping about them. My first true memory though was driving the Bentayga Speed for a week.
What sets a Bentley apart from other vehicles?
Bentley is one of the very few, richly storied, luxury, heritage automobile brands. I think their attention to their story, their ethos, and brand pillars, is what sets them in a very rare league. I find that a lot of times, combining super performance with premium luxury never truly works. But they do it well. The Bentayga Speed is an incredible example of that.
Does driving a Bentley make you instantly recognizable? Are we right to feel like a celeb behind the wheel?
Hahaha, to each their own! I think the car is recognizable. If someone is remembering you just for the car you drive, something is wrong. With both of you! [Laughs.] But in today’s society, there is absolutely a feeling that comes with driving these cars, as well as a perception that you need to manage.
At some point this level of luxury goes above and beyond what is “necessary” for a car (aka I can do just as well with a nice $100k vehicle). What’s your opinion on cars that fall into this category of super wealth?
It’s a matter of perception. For the individuals buying the super luxury vehicles, it’s not different to them than to an average person buying a Honda. It’s just normal to them. There isn’t that consideration of, ‘Holy sh*t this thing is f*cking expensive!’ If you’re looking at these cars, a million dollars isn’t a lot of money in your mind. It sounds insane to say that, but it is true. As an automobile enthusiast, I understand how there are cars that are built for millions of dollars. That doesn’t mean they’re meant for everyone. Art is worth what the buyer will pay. A lot of people consider these creations art. Spending a small fortune on them is justifiable. I think for most self-made individuals, autos are one of those “holy grail” things. Many of us have a dream car that goes well beyond reason or social stature and into an emotional connection we have. I have a few of those myself that I quest after for no other reason that that of the emotion I have towards the car. Bentley carries such a weight within the legacy category that they attract a lot of those enthusiasts that have quested for automotive perfection. Whether it was an emotion handed down from generations, or one discovered by the person on his own. We all, the true lovers of automobiles, have our own reasons for the models we want and work towards. It rarely has anything to do with society.
If you could have any Bentley in the world, what would it be?
It would be either 2022 Bentayga Speed in Dark Cashmere exterior with Black interior or the 2022 Continental GT in ALL black.
What else are you working on these days?
We have been working feverishly for years now on a Bourbon brand that will be coming to market in 2022. That has been our primary focus. In regards to my social existence, more cars, more of my son Rhodes (Ed note: click here and scroll down to see more of the cutest baby ever!), and more of my thoughtless meandering.