BRITISH car maker Bentley has created the ultimate collector’s version of the all-new Continental GT to celebrate the company’s centenary in 2019, with the launch of the Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner.
It’s been inspired by Bentley’s illustrious motor sport past and incorporates a number of distinctive features into the world’s most luxurious grand tourer. Just 100 examples will be hand built by Mulliner in Crewe, England, based on the Continental GT this year.
Number 9 Edition by Mulliner pays homage to Sir Henry Ralph Stanley ‘Tim’ Birkin – one of the original, ‘Bentley Boys’ of the 1920s and 30s. Birkin was a Bentley customer, investor and a racing driver, full of entrepreneurial spirit and ambition.
It was through the determined collaboration of man and machine that the 4½-litre ‘Blower’ was born. No.9 was the supercharged Bentley ‘Blower’ Sir Tim raced at the 1930 Le Mans 24 Hours.
He commissioned the production of a series of 4½-litre Bentleys, powered by a supercharger developed with independent engineer Amherst Villiers. Power increased from around 110bhp (82kW) to 175bhp (130kW) with the supercharger installation.
The imposing green car has since become the iconic racing Bentley of the pre-war years. Fast forward to 2019, and the Number 9 Edition by Mulliner is distinguished by No.9 badge work and a bold, matching front grille graphic.
Customers have the option of either Viridian green or Beluga black exterior paint, with 21-inch, 10-spoke wheels also in these colours, plus Black Line Specification and carbon body kit.
Inside the Number 9 Edition by Mulliner customers have the choice of Cumbrian Green or Beluga heritage hides, with increased gloss levels to the seats, inner door panel and other areas.
Debossed ‘B’ logos adorn the seat headrests and door panels as they did the door pads of the 1930 ‘Blower’. A uniquely crafted dashboard features Engine Spin on the centre console.
Often known as ‘Turned Aluminium’, Engine Spin was a popular racing car and aviation finish in the 1920s and 30s as it limited light reflection. The centre console of the vehicle is enhanced by the inclusion of an exclusive British Jaeger clock face.
Developed through a partnership between Mulliner and British Jaeger, the clock is inspired by the original No. 9 ‘Blower’s’ dials and uses the same traditional manufacturing methods of race car dials from the vintage era.
The Continental GT’s revolutionary Bentley Rotating Display has been further enhanced with a Bentley ‘Blower’ artifact. The Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner features a wood insert from the seat of Birkin’s iconic 1930 No. 9 Le Mans race car.
Removed during a sympathetic renovation, this back-lit piece is set in resin and situated in the middle of the centre dial of the rotating display, adding a piece of history to each car.
Each of the 100 cars also features 18K gold plated organ stops inspired by those in the No.9 ‘Blower’ and ‘1 of 100’ tread plates. Australian availability is yet to be determined.