Leaping once again into the pages of a long, storied history.
‘Bentley’ is more than just a brand that you can drop at a party. ‘Bentley’ is a brand that you pronounce firmly as it starts, and then lose the will to enunciate halfway through the word. ‘Bentley’ has always been the brand for the well-heeled that also fashion themselves keen drivers, the brand that offers them cars to bomb around racetracks with. The cars that give them such thrills behind the wheel that when they’re done, they seek refuge in the back of a Rolls-Royce as they’re chauffeured back to their summer estate.
One of the more memorable motorsports outings for Bentley was the Le Mans race, and the special edition in our crosshairs today harks back to the 1930 24-hour race (yes yes we get that it’s a centenary model, but Bentley don’t give a toss). 89 years ago, Tim Birkin took to the historic race in a ‘Blower’ Bentley, sticking an externally-mounted supercharger onto the 4.5-litre mill, which gave the Bentley such power that it ran the competing Mercedes (piloted by Rudolf Caracciola) into retreat, permitting Bentley to win first- and second-place in their factory-backed Speed Sixes.
The modern-day commemorative edition, called the Continental GT Number 9, celebrates that Birkin ‘Blower’ Bentley and its assistance in delivering that win for the company.
To that end, the 9 Edition can only be had in Viridian Green or Beluga Black, with the chosen hue also applied to the 21-inch 10-spoke alloys. Also non-negotiable is the painted ‘9’ on the grille, to match Birkin’s Bentley from the race. Further homage to the Blower is the use of period-correct hides for the upholstery, as well as a Jaeger LeCoultre clock in the dash. And if that’s not enough, the ‘rotating display’ now includes a panel that shows an actual piece of wood from the original Birkin Blower Bentley, which Bentley says was “removed during a sympathetic renovation.” Sure.
Only 100 of these commemorative editions will be made (which makes us wonder just how much of the original seat of the Tim Birkin Bentley is still in the Tim Birkin Bentley), all of which will also feature 18-carat gold highlights on things like the organ-stop air-vent controls, gear lever, and other bits of switchgear. Don’t even ask about how much this will cost, because frankly, we don’t want to know either.