Bentley Continental GT Number 9 Edition
- Special edition Continental GT celebrates Bentley’s 100th anniversary
- Hand-built by Mulliner, edition is limited to 100 cars
- Styling cues honor Bentley’s racing heritage
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Bentley, the automaker has revealed its limited edition of the Continental GT. Called the Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner, the edition will be limited to 100 cars built this year. They will be hand-built by Mulliner, a coachbuilder that has had a longtime partnership with Bentley.
The Number 9 Edition has “Number 9” badges that pays homage to the supercharged No. 9 car that Sir Henry Ralph Stanley “Tim” Birkin raced at the 1930 Le Mans 24 hour race. Birkin, one of the original “Bentley Boys” of the 1920s and 1930s, was a race car driver and Bentley customer and investor. Working with Bentley, Birkin commissioned the production of a series of 4-1/2-liter Bentley engines for his car. The engine used a supercharger developed with engineer Amherst Villiers, which increased power from about 110 bhp to 175. The car became the iconic racing Bentley of the pre-war years, and the engine was known as the “Blower.”
In addition to the badges, the special edition Continental GT has a bold graphic in the front grille. The cars will come in either Viridian green or Beluga black paint, with color-matched 22-inch Mulliner Driving Specification wheels, plus Black Line Specification carbon body cues.
The interior is where Bentley has added the most heritage touches. The cabin comes in Cumbrian Green or Beluga heritage leather colors, and a high-gloss treatment on the seats and inner door panel. There are also debossed ‘B’ logos on the door panels and headrests. The dashboard has the Engine Spin finish, also known as Turned Aluminum, which was a popular finish in race cars and in aviation in the 1920s and 1930s, as it limited light reflections. The center console uses a British Jaeger clock face, inspired by the original No. 9 Blower’s dials, and manufactured using traditional methods of making race car dials from the 1920s and 1930s. Each car features 18-karat gold-plated organ stops and “1 of 100” treadplates. Finishing off the cabin is wood insert from the seats of Birkin’s 1930 No. 9 Le Mans race car, which had been removed during what Bentley calls a “sympathetic renovation.” The piece is backlit, set in resin, and is placed in the middle of the center dial of the Bentley Rotating Display.
Bentley will celebrate its centenary year on July 10, 2019. Every Bentley built in 2019 will have special touches that celebrate the anniversary.