The Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory is the one place in Australia where revheads can cut loose on a 200km stretch between Alice Springs and Barrow Creek where there’s no speed limit – one of just three places in the world where you can.
So when the Bentley Continental GT Speed was released last year with its 6-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine pushing out 472kW (633bhp) and a top speed of 331 km/h (206 mph), they thought they’d have a bit of fun with it and take two-time Bathurst winner and motor racing legend John Bowe up to the top end to give it a real flogging.
And he did, all the way to 331kmh. Seeing a 60-year-old bloke fanging a half-million-dollar car through the outback is pretty extraordinary and as Bowe explains in the clip, “this is not a customised racecar”, which he cranked all the way to 330kmh in under 60 seconds.
But Australia’s Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) isn’t happy with this posh hooning, and following a complaint after someone saw the Youtube ad on Wheels magazine’s account, ruled that it breached advertising standards.
Bentley tried to fend off the complaint by saying it was done under controlled conditions with the permission of authorities.
The ASB looked at three sections of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Advertising for Motor Vehicles Voluntary Code of Practice (the FCAI Code) – unsafe driving, breaking the speed limit and driving practice that would breach the law – to see if there were any problems with the ad and came to the conclusion that basically because it’s on the internet, people outside of the NT could see it and there was a focus on excessive speed that would be illegal elsewhere.
Here’s part of what the ruling said:
The Board did consider that the advertisement showed excessive speed, with the text at the commencement of the advertisement stating the car would be driven at maximum speed and the driver commenting that he was going to see just how fast it could go. The Board noted the advertisement is available on the internet, and considered that this means that people in other jurisdictions may view it.
The Board considered clause 2(b) of the FCAI Code. Clause 2(b) requires that “Advertisements for motor vehicles do not portray…people driving at speeds in excess of speed limits in the relevant jurisdiction in Australia in which the advertisement is published.”
So Bentley Australia agreed to take it off its Youtube channel.
But the internet is a big, global phenomenon, and there are other places you can still see it.
Here’s one of them:
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