We expect nothing but an 18-carat celebration as Bentley cruises through its first century this year. But there’s more.
That’s right, Bentley is building a limited edition Continental GT- and the main theme revolves around the 1930 Le Mans race where Tim Birkin first raced the ‘Blower’ Bentley boosted with a 4.5-litre engine. While Birkin did not win this race, a statement was written after it managed to harry the Mercedes of Rudolf Caracciola into retirement.
The limited edition 'Number 9' comes dipped in Viridian Green or Beluga Black paintwork.
Hence, these 100 models speak more history than any of Bentley’s models. As we expected earlier, the special Bentley will be built around the Continental GT. This does not commemorate the race winner but a non-factory car that retired after 138 laps. It’s as much beautiful as it is convoluted – because ‘Blower’ Bentleys are just fantastically cool.
The new limited Continental GT is dipped in either Viridian Green or Beluga Black paintwork. The car sits on 21-inch 10-spoke wheels. The number 9 on the grille was Birkin’s race number. Enter the cabin and the design cues don’t stop. With plenty of ‘heritage’ leather hides, the interior is highlighted with the period Jaeger dash clock.
Reeking of real racing essence is the same piece of wood on the dash from Birkin’s race car, which was apparently ‘removed during sympathetic renovation’. Most of such changes are aesthetic with no changes that have reached the mechanicals.
A piece of Birkin's race car is embodied into the dash of each model.
It still ships with the same twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre W12 engine that delivers 626hp and 900Nm of torque. The car reaches up to 100kph in 3.7 seconds and goes on to record a top speed of 333kph.
We, however, are conflicted and not sure what to make of this. Bentley sure has an amazing history that very well deserves to be celebrated. But we are not sure if shoving bits of its historic models in the dash is the way to go about it. We’d have been more impressed if they had placed massive turbochargers ahead of the grille. That would be a more fitting tribute.