Bentley unveils Continental GT No.9 Edition at Geneva
Special model built to celebrate firm’s centenary year
Just 100 units will be built by Mulliner in the factory at Crewe, and it features a number of unique details and finishes inspired by the No.9 Blower Bentley raced by Sir Henry Ralph Stanley ‘Tim’ Birkin in the 1930 Le Mans 24 Hours. Birkin worked with engineer Amherst Villiers to develop the supercharger for the 4½ litre Bentleys, taking their power output from 110bhp to 175bhp and giving Birkin the speed to set the lap record at Le Mans in 1930.
The exterior comes in a choice of Viridian green or Beluga black paint, with the ten-spoke alloy wheels also finished in the same shade. The most eye-catching feature is the No.9 graphic on the front grille, recalling the same livery of the original racer, with discreet badging front and rear.
Inside, buyers can choose from two hide colours – Cumbrian green or Beluga – both of which have a higher-gloss finish while the door panels and seats display a de-bossed ‘B’ logo, another feature that originated with the 1930s racer. The period look is further enhanced with Bentley’s ‘Engine Spin’ finish on the aluminium centre console and a British Jaeger clock face, developed in partnership with Mulliner and taking inspiration from the dials of the Blower. 18K gold-plated organ stops are another touch that takes the No.9 Edition beyond the luxury of the standard car
True fans of the pre-war Bentley racers will appreciate that each example of the Continental GT No.9’s rotating display has been adorned with a wood insert taken from the seat of Birkin’s 1930 Le Mans racer during a restoration, and is backlit and set in resin for maximum effect.
Beneath the adornments, the Continental GT No.9 Edition by Mulliner retains the same 6.0-litre W12 power unit, dual-clutch transmission and Active Roll Control system as the standard car, giving a 0-62mph time of 3.7sec and a top speed of 207mph. Prices are yet to be announced but expect a substantial premium over the £160,000 standard car.