Special Edition Bentley Continental GT Honors Le Mans Hero Birkin
It won’t have escaped you that this is Bentley’s centenary year. There’s plenty going on to celebrate, but the company has also created this special edition Continental GT, of which 100 will be hand-built by Mulliner, Bentley’s bespoke division. The Continental GT 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. No.9 was the supercharged Bentley “Blower” that Sir Tim raced at the 1930 24 Hours of Le Mans. Birkin commissioned a series of 4½ Litre Bentleys with superchargers developed in conjunction with engineer Amherst Villiers, increasing power from 110hp to 175hp.
The Number 9 Edition by Mulliner features No.9 badgework and matching front grille graphic, and comes in either Viridian green or Beluga black exterior paint, with 21in, 10-spoke wheels in the same colours. Inside there’s a choice of Cumbrian Green or Beluga hides; debossed ‘B’ logos adorn the seat headrests and door panels just as they did the door pads of the 1930 Blower. The dashboard features a machine-turned finish on the center console, as well as a Jaeger clock face. The rotating display includes a wood insert from the seat of Birkin’s 1930 No. 9 Le Mans race car (replaced during restoration), backlit and set in resin in the middle of the centre dial of the rotating display. The final extras are a set of 18K gold plated organ stops inspired by those in the No.9 Blower and “1 of 100’” treadplates.
Images courtesy of Bentley Motors