The 2019 Bentley Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner is not only a mouthful to say, but also a model marking two significant Bentley events.
The most obvious, if you know a bit about Bentley, is that it marks the brand’s 100th anniversary year. The other is the reason for the name and actual number 9 seen in the grille.
In the 1920s, Sir Henry Ralph Stanley ‘Tim’ Birkin convinced Walter Owen ‘W.O’ Bentley to supercharge enough Bentley 4½ Litre units (named for its rather large inline four engine) to pass the requirements to allow Birkin to enter one into Le Mans. Birkin raced one of these Bentley ‘Blowers’ in the 1930 race.
Birkin’s car number 9 didn’t win, in fact none of the three Blowers finished, but Birkin got his way with the 4 ½ Litre and set the fastest lap during the race.
Just 100 units of the Bentley Continental GT Number 9 Edition will be built to honour the Birkin Blower, each car having a small piece of wood from the original car’s seat displayed in its dash.
With the standard Continental GT providing the base car, each GT Number 9 will be powered by Bentley’s 467kW 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12.
Customers of the Number 9 can have Viridian Green, honouring the colour of the original Number 9, or Beluga Black paintwork, with a choice of Cumbrian Green or Beluga Heritage hide for the interior.
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Bentley ‘B’ logos are found on the seat headrests and door panels as they did on the doors in the 1930 4 ½ Litre Blower.
Mulliner has also added a British Jaeger clock to the dash, inspired by the original No. 9 ‘Blower’s’ dials. Similarly, the ‘organ stop’ handles are finished in 18K gold, and the treadplates will have ‘1 of 100’ on them.