[UPDATE, March 5] Live images from the 2019 Geneva Motor Show have been added at the beginning of the gallery, below.
Bentley is in a festive mood these days at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show where it’s blowing the 100th candle on the company’s birthday cake. To mark the major milestone in Crewe’s history, the high-end British marque is taking the wraps off a special Continental GT they describe as being the “ultimate collector’s version” of the posh grand tourer. Handbuilt by Mulliner, the Continental GT Number 9 Edition will be limited to only 100 cars – one for each year Bentley has been in business.
As you have probably figured out by know after noticing the “9” motif, the limited-run Conti takes after the legendary Bentley Blower, a supercharged race car driven by Sir Henry Ralph Stanley “Tim” Birkin at the 1930 Le Mans 24 Hours. Serving as a nod to the company’s motorsport heritage, the exclusive GT gets the No. 9 graphic on the grille to create a visual link to the supercharged race car well-known by Bentley aficionados.
Gallery: Bentley Continental GT Number 9 Edition By Mulliner at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show
Those 100 people fortunate enough to sign their names on the dotted line can either go for this Viridian green shade or ask Mulliner to paint the car in a more elegant Beluga Black. The car will come with matching 21-inch wheels with a 10-spoke design, along with a carbon fiber package and black accents where you’d normally find chrome.
Stepping inside the cabin, Bentley and Mulliner will wrap the seats in Cumbrian Green or Beluga leather and will throw in “B” logos throughout the interior to mimic the door pads of the Blower. Speaking of which, a Bentley Blower artifact adorns the fancy rotating display on the center console, while the wood insert in the center of the rotating display’s dial was literally taken from the 1930 Le Mans race car’s seat.
As a final touch, Mulliner has added special treadplates with the “1 of 100” lettering as well as 18K gold-plated organ stops on the dash.
Bentley mentions all cars it will build in 2019 are going to come with visual tweaks inside and out to celebrate the company’s centenary.
INSPIRED BY A RACING LEGEND: CONTINENTAL GT NUMBER 9 EDITION BY MULLINER
- Distinctive Continental GT celebrates Bentley’s centenary year
- Mulliner will handcraft just 100 limited edition collectors cars
- Unique design inspired by Bentley’s illustrious motorsport heritage
- Number 9 badging honours Birkin’s historic ‘Blower’ Bentley
- Each model features wood insert from seat of his Le Mans race car
- Two exterior colour options available – Viridian green or Beluga black
- Heritage hides echo those found in cars from the ‘Bentley Boy’ era
- Exclusive British Jaeger dashboard clock inspired by 1930 dials
- 18K gold plated organ stops inspired by those of vintage race car
- Limited edition makes global debut at Geneva Motor Show
(Crewe, 4 March 2019) Bentley has created the ultimate collector’s version of the all-new Continental GT to celebrate the company’s centenary in 2019.
The Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner is inspired by Bentley’s illustrious motorsport past and incorporates a number of distinctive features into the world’s most luxurious Grand Tourer. Just 100 examples will be handbuilt by Mulliner in Crewe, England, based on the Continental GT this year.
Number 9 Edition by Mulliner pays homage to Sir Henry Ralph Stanley ‘Tim’ Birkin – one of the original, ‘Bentley Boys’ of the 1920s and ‘30s. Birkin was a Bentley customer, investor and a racing driver, full of entrepreneurial spirit and ambition – and through the determined collaboration of man and machine, the 4 ½ litre ‘Blower’ was born.
No.9 was the supercharged Bentley ‘Blower’ Sir Tim raced at the 1930 Le Mans 24 Hours. He commissioned the production of a series of 4 ½ Litre Bentleys, powered by a supercharger developed with independent engineer Amherst Villiers. Power increased from around 110 bhp to 175 bhp with the supercharger installation. The imposing green car has since become the iconic racing Bentley of the pre-war years.
The Number 9 Edition by Mulliner is distinguished by No.9 badgework and a bold, matching front grille graphic. Customers have the option of either Viridian green or Beluga black exterior paint, with 21”, 10-spoke wheels also in these colours, plus Black Line Specification and carbon bodykit.
Inside the Number 9 Edition by Mulliner customers have the choice of Cumbrian Green or Beluga heritage hides, with increased gloss levels to the seats, inner door panel and other areas. Debossed ‘B’ logos adorn the seat headrests and door panels as they did the door pads of the 1930 ‘Blower’.
A uniquely crafted dashboard features Engine Spin on the centre console. Often known as ‘Turned Aluminium’, Engine Spin was a popular racing car and aviation finish in the 1920s and ‘30s as it limited light reflection.
The centre console of the vehicle is enhanced by the inclusion of an exclusive British Jaeger clock face. Developed through a partnership between Mulliner and British Jaeger, the clock is inspired by the original No. 9 ‘Blower’s’ dials and uses the same traditional manufacturing methods of race car dials from the vintage era.
The Continental GT’s revolutionary Bentley Rotating Display has been further enhanced with a Bentley ‘Blower’ artefact. The Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner features a wood insert from the seat of Birkin’s iconic 1930 No. 9 Le Mans race car, which was removed during a sympathetic renovation. This backlit piece is set in resin and situated in the middle of the centre dial of the rotating display, adding a piece of history to each car.
Each of the 100 cars also features 18K gold plated organ stops inspired by those in the No.9 ‘Blower’ and ‘1 of 100’ treadplates.
Bentley’s Centenary Celebration
Bentley will celebrate its centenary year on 10 July , 2019. From the very first prototype created in a London mews to the phenomenally powerful and exquisitely crafted cars driven across the world today, Bentley has transformed the face of luxury motoring. W.O. Bentley founded Bentley Motors in order to ‘build a fast car, a good car, the best in its class’. That principle has remained at the heart of Bentley’s vision ever since.
Every Bentley built during 2019 will have a collection of carefully curated design touches on both the interior and exterior of the car. On the outside, the badges on the bonnet, boot and wheel centres will feature a specially created metallic finish around the ‘B’ in the logo in Centenary Gold. The bonnet and boot badges will also display the years 1919 to 2019.
On opening the door, a welcome light illuminates the ground with a Bentley symbol, while treadplates highlight the key years. Inside, the Bentley wings and Bentley ‘B’ on both the steering wheel and gear shifter are adorned with Centenary Gold, as is the ‘B’ on the key.
New Continental GT – A Powerful Statement of Intent
The latest, all-new Continental GT combines spirited, focused performance with handcrafted luxury and cutting edge technology.
Lighter, faster and even more refined, the W12 TSI-powered Continental GT will sprint to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds (100 km/h in 3.7 seconds), with a top speed of 207 mph (333 km/h) and a range of 500 miles. [WLTP drive cycle: fuel consumption, mpg (l/100km) - Combined 20.8 (13.6). Combined CO₂- 308g/km.]
Mulliner – Rare by Design
Mulliner exists to respond to the requirements of Bentley’s most discerning customers. Any type of personalisation can be undertaken to create a unique Bentley of individual taste.
Mulliner's roots date back to the 1500's – the firm's original focus was creating luxurious horse-drawn carriages. In 1923 Mulliner showcased work on a Bentley chassis for the first time, exhibiting a two-seater 3 Litre Bentley at the Olympia Show in London – just four years after Bentley Motors was founded.
In 1953, Mulliner coachbuilt one of the most iconic Bentleys ever – the R Type Continental. This model inspired the design of today's Continental GT. In 1957, Mulliner introduced the Continental Flying Spur, a special four-door saloon built on the Bentley Continental chassis. Mulliner officially became part of Bentley Motors in 1959, setting up its workshops in Crewe.