To mark the company’s anniversary, Bentley pays homage to a legendary racing car: the Blower, with which Tim Birkin drove the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1930. The limited edition special model carries his start number and has some exclusive features.
One does not get to celebrate becoming 100 years old every day. British luxury carmaker Bentley is celebrating this year. To mark the occasion, Bentley is presenting a very special model at the Geneva Motor Show. This is a Continental, which bears the model number 9 and is created in the in-house customization department Mulliner. Since only a total of 100 copies are made, the noble Briton should immediately gain collector status.
The Bentley Continental GT Number 9 pays homage to the 4 ½ liter Bentley that Sir Henry Ralph Stanley “Tim” Birkin – one of the original “Bentley Boys” – competed in at the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1930. Birkin took part in the race with the start number 9, which stood out prominently on the radiator grille. This element is taken over by Bentley in his edition model and supplemented by further no. 9 emblems. Available only in Viridian Green and Beluga Black, the Continental GT Number 9 rolls on 21-inch rims in ten-spoke design. The exterior is complemented by the Blackline Specification and a carbon fiber trim package.
The leather interior is also in Beluga black or Cumbrian Green. However, the seats, door panels and other areas in some places shine stronger than in the standard Continental. Headrests, door panels and panels are embossed with “B” emblems. On the center console, the Continental GT Number 9 carries an “Engine Spin” décor. This is turned aluminum, which was used in Birkins times in race car interiors, because it reduced the light reflections. There is also a British Jaeger analog clock, whose design was inspired by the instruments of the historic race car.
The interior comes up with some very special equipment details. The special model receives the well-known rotation display, but with a peculiarity. It contains a piece of wood from Birkin’s original race car, which had been removed from the Blower’s seat during an earlier restoration. The new Number 9 is embedded in synthetic resin, sits in the center of the rotation display and is backlit. Some controls are studded with 18k gold; that too is a blower-inspired detail. Sill plates with the word “1 of 100” round off the optics package.
The power source is the well-known W12 twin-turbo engine, which produces 635 hp and a maximum of 900 Newton meters. The performance: 3.7 seconds from zero to one hundred and 333 km/h top speed. The compressor engine of the blower of 1930 produced a modest 177 hp. Incidentally, Birkin fought temporarily for the lead in the race at that time, but fell out in the course of the race. After all, he drove with an average of 144.362 km/h in his fastest lap.