The number 9 badging on this special-edition Bentley honors Sir Henry Ralph Stanley Birkin's storied "Blower" Bentley.
Based on the Continental GT, this car's production is limited to 100 units, each crafted by Mulliner in Crewe, England.
Each car features an insert crafted from wood harvested from the seat of Birkin's Le Mans race car and 18K-gold-plated organ stop controls inspired by those of the original.
Bentley has a pretty rich history, and a large part of that story involves the Bentley Boys of the 1920s and '30s. An intrepid group, they were the hot rodders of the day, engineering, modifying, and racing Bentleys with abandon. From this group was born the famous "Number 9" Le Mans race car equipped with a supercharged 4.5-liter engine that increased output from approximately 110 to 175 horsepower-pretty impressive for the day. To honor the centennial of the Bentley marque, the maker has harnessed some of this spirit and created the Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner.
Available in either Viridian Green or Beluga Black, the Number 9 special features specific No. 9 badgework and a matching graphic on the front grille. Rolling stock is provided by color-matched 21-inch, 10-spoke wheels. Bentley's Blackline Specification and carbon body kit complete the picture.
Interior details include a choice of Cumbrian Green or Beluga "heritage hides" and seats, inner door panels, and additional areas treated for extra glossiness. The headrests and door panels receive embossed "B" logos in homage to the original 1930 Blower Bentley. The dashboard and center console feature the familiar engine-turned finish, often referred to as "turned aluminum," that was utilized in the early days of the automobile to minimize unwanted light reflection.
For a timepiece, Bentley turned to respected British manufacturer Jaeger, which collaborated with Mulliner to produce a timepiece that echoed the dial face of the gauges of Bentleys from the vintage era. Each car in this special edition gets a wood insert harvested directly from the seat of Birkin's No. 9 Le Mans car during a restoration. It is set in resin, backlit, and placed in the center of the dash panel. To complete the effect, there are "1 of 100" doorsill plates and gold-plated organ stops.
As you might expect, the Bentley centenary theme extends into the rest of the lineup. It's observed officially on July 10, 2019, and every Bentley car produced in the 2019 model year will feature specially created badges with the "B" re-created in Centenary Gold on the wheel hood, trunk, and wheel centers; the hood and trunk badges will also include "1919 to 2019" lettering. The gold color treatment extends to the key fob, steering-wheel button, and gear selector.
Surviving 100 years, particularly when you've been given up for dead on at least one occasion, is certainly an impressive achievement. And while we wishing the Bentley Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner was more than just a cosmetic treatment, we're quite sure the maker will have consumer interest that extends well past its production cap of 100 units.
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