The year is 1930. In a bid to outrace his competition at the Le Mans 24 Hours, Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin, part of the fabled Bentley Boys, decides to add a supercharger in front of the Bentley 4½ Litre – an audacious move at the time. In doing so, he unknowingly created one of the most influential racing icons in history – the Blower Bentley – and the rest is history. For their centenary, luxury automaker Bentley has paid homage to the entrepreneurial spirit of Birkin with the special edition Bentley Continental GT Number 9 Edition, hand-built by Mulliner. Only 100 cars will be produced – one for every year of Bentley’s history.
In many ways, this Bentley Continental GT Number 9 Edition elegantly resembles the Blower, especially in its design element. Most striking is probably the number ‘9’ graphic on the car’s grille, a sure nod to its pre-war predecessor. The exterior comes in a stunning viridian green or beluga black, with matching ten-spoke 21-inch wheels. On the inside, choose between cumbrian green or beluga “heritage hides” to make for a truly comfortable yet stylish ride.
The headrest and door panels are embossed with “B” logos, while the dashboard flaunts a familiar “engine-turn” aluminium finish – reminiscent of race cars in the 1920s and ‘30s, when it was often used to minimise light reflection. A wood insert, retrieved from the original Le Mans car used by Birkin in 1930 during restoration, is showcased in the centre of the dash panel, making this GT a truly fitting ode to the Blower.
Its timepiece boasts a special clock face created by British Jaeger, manufactured in the same conventional methods of race car dials from that time. Special doorsill plates with the lettering “1 of 100” and 18K gold-plated organ stops on the air vents complete the lavish automobile – making it truly the collector’s item to behold.
Available at Bentley.