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Bentley has announced the Continental GT Convertible Number 1 Edition by Mulliner as part of a tribute to the 1929 Bentley Blower race car. Production of the special model is limited to just 100 units, each featuring 18-carat gold plated fender badging, as well as a gold plated number one set within the Rotating Display.
Colour-wise it’s available in Dragon Red II or Beluga, complete with a Claret or Beluga folding hood (which deploys or retracts in 19 seconds). The Limited Edition is equipped with a Centenary Pack, Bentley Black Line Specification and Carbon Body Kit, rounded off by the painted Number 1 front grille.
The Centenary Pack comes with LED welcome lamps, Centenary badges to the rear, wheel caps, gear lever, steering wheel, and key fob. Other finishing touches include jewelled filler and oil caps, as well as 22-inch MD wheels finished in Cricket Ball or Gloss Black.
Inside, the cabin gets a two-tone finish of either Cricket Ball or Beluga, complemented by Heritage hide on the seats and door pads, with a debased B insignia on the head restraints and/or inserts. The Grand Black wood veneer is enhanced by 18 carat gold plated organ stops and an Alcantara steering wheel and gear lever. A Number 1 tread plate insert is standard, too.
Within the Bentley Rotating Display, a small wheel spinner has been set in resin, seamlessly merging the best of design both present and past. Each wheel spinner has been cast from a piston from the No. 1, taken during restoration work.
Unchanged from before is the powertrain. Here, it gets the 6.0 litre twin-turbocharged W12 TSI engine that produces 626 hp at 6,000 rpm and 900 Nm from 1,350 rpm to 4,500 rpm. It does the 0-100 km/h run in 3.8 seconds before maxing out at 333 km/h. An eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is standard.
With that, the introduction of the Number 1 Edition marks the final car in Bentley’s Centenary trilogy. Like the Mulsanne W.O. Edition and the Continental GT Number 9 Edition, it incorporates a unique piece of Bentley history.
The creation of the model was inspired by the No. 1 Blower, which set the Outer Circuit record at the Brooklands racetrack, Surrey, in 1932. The car, which was powered by a 4.5 litre engine that averaged 220 km/h (a record that stood for two years and has since become a symbol of Bentley’s racing heritage), was driven by Bentley Boy Tim Birkin.
The No. 1 Blower was born through a combination of Birkin’s skillset and the financial backing of wealthy horse racing enthusiast, Dorothy Paget. When Bentley stopped backing Birkin’s project, Paget saw the potential of the car and stepped in to help.
Birkin’s modified Bentley used a supercharger to increase the pressure of air to the engine, creating more power. Described as ‘blowing’ air into the engine, it resulted in the Birkin car being referred to as the Bentley Blower. What do you think of this?