First drive: 2012 Bentley Continental GT convertible
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Welcome to the strange world of high-end automotive junkets. Bentley paid my way to Europe. They flew me first-class to England and hired a charter to take me to Croatia. I stayed at a hotel, in the country outside of Manchester, where Sting and Trudy got married. The wine and appetizers never stopped. It was a fun, luxurious, and corrupt adventure. “We’re beyond spoiled,” said one of my fellow junketeers. “We’re Kobe humans. They stuff us full of food and wine all day, and then we wake up at 6 AM and start it all over again.”
There were 15 other writers on the trip with me, all of them men except for one freelancer for the Toronto Star. These were the hotshots of the circuit, the heavy-hitters. With the exception of me, doing this for the first and probably the last time, this wasn’t a trip for newbies. Many of these automotive writers spend their lives traveling from junket to junket, racking up frequent-flier miles and not paying for anything. They can be pretty jaded. As one of the writers told me, "it's kind of like going on an endless luxury vacation with people you hate."