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Bentley unveils Le Mans Edition of the Mulsanne

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On: Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 12:23PM | By: Teddy Field

Bentley unveils Le Mans Edition of the Mulsanne

In May of 1923, W.O. Bentley traveled to France to attend the inaugural running of a new 24-hour endurance race, being held in the streets outside of a little town called Le Mans. One of W.O.'s customers had entered a 1923 Bentley 3-liter in the race, and wound up finishing 4th overall. During the race, driver Frank Clement set the first lap record, covering the 10.7 mile course in 9:39, at an average speed of 66 mph. Enthused by his car's performance, Bentley returned the following year to claim victory against a field of all-French cars. And to honor the 90th Anniversary of this legendary endurance race, W.O.'s company unveiled a very special Mulsanne Le Mans Limited Edition at this week's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. 

With the exception of NASCAR, racing has always been sort of a 'gentleman’s sport', enjoyed by rich playboys, and aristocrats with lots of family money to squander. Many of W.O. Bentley's customers fell into that category, and his namesake company is still serving them today. Modern “Bentley Boys” can indulge their speed-lust with the Bentley Continental GT3, a full-on racing car with 600-hp and a 4-way adjustable suspension. Of course, it does come with millionaire-appropriate touches like aero-enhanced carbon fiber Continental GT bodywork, and hand-stitched Alcantara-like material on the seat, steering wheel and door panel.

A person that would be interested in such an extravagant racing car might also want something just as extravagant to drive to the track. For them, Bentley has created the Le Mans Limited Edition, available on both the Continental GT, and now the Mulsanne. To celebrate Bentley's 6 victories at Le Mans, a special trim package has been created to honor each of the winning drivers. Only 48 examples of each specification will be made, but they will all feature diamond-quilted hide seat covering, diamond-quilted hide door panels, drilled alloy foot pedals, sports tuned suspension and steering, 'Quad' Effect Tailpipe Finishers and two-piece five spoke dark tint alloy wheels.

The 2014 Bentley Mulsanne Le Mans Limited Edition, along with the Continental GT Le Mans Edition and GT3 racer are being displayed for the well-heeled crowd at this week's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California. However, this isn't just another car show to Bentley. It's a chance for VW's super-luxury division to get some face-time with the millionaire car enthusiasts that will actually buy these cars. And you can bet that they'll get some orders.

Le Mans Edition Specifications

John Duff

The original Bentley Boy, John Duff gave Bentley its first win at Le Mans 24 Hours in 1924. After a fourth place finish in 1923, Duff returned to Le Mans the following year with Bentley co-driver Jack Clement. The pair raced to a first place finish, defeating many of the leading sports cars of the day.

Exterior: Moonbeam

Interior: Two-tone Linen and Beluga

Stitching: Contrast

Veneer: Piano Black and Bright Aluminum

Dudley Benjafield

Competing for the sheer pleasure of driving and the thrill of the race, "Benjy", drove at numerous events and took 1st place at Le Mans in 1927.

Exterior: Verdant – the same color of the victorious Bentley Speed 8 in 2003

Interior: Two-tone Linen and Cumbrian Green

Stitching: Contrast

Veneer: Dark Stain Burr Walnut and Bright Aluminum

Woolf Barnato

Considered "the best driver we ever had" by W.O. Bentley, Barnato remains the only driver to have won on each occasion of entering the race recording wins at Le Mans in 1928, 1929 and 1930.

Exterior: Granite

Interior: Hotspur

Stitching: Beluga

Veneer: Carbon Fiber in Continental series

Dark Stain Burr Walnut with Dark Aluminum in Mulsanne

Tim Birkin

A formidable personality, Birkin, an ex-fighter pilot was renowned for his willingness to be utterly ruthless with his car to achieve a winning result.

Exterior: Glacier White

Interior: Beluga

Stitching: White

Veneer: Piano Black and Bright Aluminum

Le Mans Edition Specifications (cont.)

Glen Kidston

Kidston claimed 1st place at Le Mans in 1930 and is known for being an adventurer; rough, tough, sharp and fearless.

Exterior: Dark Sapphire

Interior: Two-tone Newmarket Tan and Imperial Blue

Stitching: Contrast

Veneer: Dark Stain Burr Walnut and Dark Aluminum

Continental GT Convertible models are finished with a Blue hued exterior roof.

Guy Smith

A central figure for Team Bentley's attack on both the Sebring 12-Hours and the Le Mans 24 Hours, Guy Smith secured his place in racing legend at the 2003 Le Mans 24 Hours. Smith was selected to pilot the Bentley Speed 8 across the finish line to mark an emotional sixth win for Bentley.

Exterior: Beluga

Interior: Beluga

Stitching: Hotspur

Veneer: Piano Black and Dark Aluminum

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)


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