Bentley anniversary gift unwrapped
Limited-edition Continental GTC convertible celebrates luxury marque's 100th birthday
If you’re Bentley, what do you do after 100 years bolting together some of the most memorable cars? Simply make modern interpretations of some of your iconic cars.
It’s worth noting that Bentley has been here before. The Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner was the first of a trilogy of bespoke cars which Bentley promised and each of the 100 examples made included a piece of W.O.’s personal 1930 8-litre’s crankshaft beautifully mounted between the two rear seats.
Then there were 100 green Continental GT interpretations of the British racing green No. 9 Blower of 1920. This car is famed for breaking records and indeed is the car which inspired author Ian Fleming to gift it to his fictional character — one James Bond — as his first car.
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There have been numerous interesting celebratory creations since then. Bentley also re-enacted and carried out the unfinished Mille Miglia run of 1930.
Then there were Opus luxury books, a Graf von Faber-Castell limited edition Centenary range of writing tools, Breitling crafted special time pieces, Bentley Home brought out special and decadent furniture and the City of Le Mans honoured Bentley by renaming one of its major streets — Rue de Laigne — to Rue des Bentley Boys, all in the name of celebrating 100 years of Bentley.
With the actual centenary falling on July 10 2019, Bentley has uncovered a car that is inspired by another of its icons — the No.1 Blower of 1932 which set a lap record at the Brooklands racing circuit near London.
Each of the 100 bespoke and handcrafted No.1 Edition convertibles that’s based on the 467kW and 900Nm 6.0l W12 Continental GTC pay homage to the legendary racer with an 18 carat gold-plated fender badging, painted Number 1 front grille, jewelled filler and oil caps, and 22-inch MDS wheels in either Cricket Ball or Gloss Black finish.
They are available in either Dragon Red II or Beluga, and with a Claret or Beluga folding hood. The Limited Edition run is specified with the Centenary Pack, Bentley Black Line Specification and Carbon Body Kit, rounded off by the painted Number 1 front grille.
Its special party piece is Bentley spinners which are reminiscent of wheel spinners found on the No.1 and other historic Bentleys and each of these 100 spinners has been cast from a piston from the actual No. 1.
Inside, a new colour split of either Cricket Ball or Beluga main hide is complemented by Heritage hide on the seats and door pads, with a debossed B insignia on the headrests and door inserts and a British Jaeger clock featuring a Number 1 face.
Grand Black wood veneer is enhanced by 18 carat gold plated organ stops and an Alcantara steering wheel and gear lever and Number 1 treadplates.
According to Jessica Baker of Bentley Motors in SA, a few units have already been secured and will be with their SA owners very shortly.