Bentley cars, when mentioned, usually provoke unique images in a car enthusiast’s mind. Primarily, the word ‘Bentley’ conjures up a specialty vehicle and/or race cars. The year 2013 marks the 90th anniversary of the legendary Le Mans inaugural race and Bentley was a participant. They were the only British entry in that 1923 race and won a fourth place finish. To celebrate that, Bentley Motors will provide six new Le Mans Limited Edition vehicle models.
The company stated in 1919 by W.O. Bentley, who was a strong supporter of motor racing. He established the Bentley marque as a means of achieving racing success through engineering success as well as driver skills. Those group of drivers became known as the ‘Bentley Boys.’
This is the 10th anniversary of Bentley’s victory in the 2003 race, when Guy Smith drove the first of two Bentley Speed 8’s across the finish line. From 1927 to 1930, the Bentley name was the dominate factor at the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race, and even took the first place on those four consecutive events.
These are all recognized as significant milestones in the history of Bentley. Christophe Georges is President and COO of Bentley Motors, Inc. He said, “We are very proud of our motorsports heritage and we are excited to celebrate our historic wins at Le Mans 24 Hours. The Le Mans Limited Edition models showcase our performance and hand crafted luxury through these unique, heritage-inspired specifications.”
There will be 48 examples of each ‘Le Mans Limited Edition’ that will be produced. The specifications will be available on the flagship Mulsanne and the Continental family, exclusively available in North America. Each vehicle will sport a unique Le Mans Edition serial numbered badge. Also showing off the Limited Edition Le Mans will be a clock face, embroidered headrests, tread plates, unique wheels, and specific interior veneers and exterior colors. The different models will represent one of the Bentley drivers from the six victories at Le Mans.
John Duff was the original Bentley Boy, giving Bentley the first win at Le Mans back in 1924. The John Duff edition will feature a Moonbeam exterior color, a two-tone Linen and Beluga interior, and a mixed veneer of Piano Black and Bright Aluminum.
Dudley Benjafield was known for always competing more for the thrill of the race and the sheer pleasure of driving rather than winning. He was known as ‘Benjy’ and took First Place at the 1927 Le Mans. The Dudley Benjafield edition will feature a Verdant exterior, a two-tone Linen and Cumbrian Green interior, and a mixed veneer of Dark Stain Burr Walnut with Bright Aluminum.
Woolf Baruato entered three Le Mans races and won all three times in 1928, 1929, and 1930. W.O. Bentley called Barnato “the best driver we ever had.” The Woolf Barnato edition will feature a Granite exterior color, a Hotspur color interior with Beluga stitching. The veneer will be a Carbon Fiber in the Continental series and a Dark Stain Burr Walnut with Dark Aluminum in the Mulsanne model.
Tim Birkin was an ex-fighter pilot and a very formidable personality. He was more known for his very ruthless while driving his car so as to achieve a win. The Tim Birkin edition will feature a Glacier White exterior, a Beluga interior with White stitching, and a mixed veneer of Piano Black and Bright Aluminum.
Glen Kidstron was known for being an rugged and tough adventurer. The sharp but fearless Kidston took first place in the 1930 Le Mans. The Glen Kidston edition features a Dark Sapphire exterior, a two-tone Newmarket Tan with Imperial Blue interior, and a veneer of Dark Stain Burr Walnut with Dark Aluminum. The Continental GT Convertible models will be finished with a Blue hued exterior roof.
Guy Smith claimed his place in racing legends at the 2003 Le Mans. He was a central figure for the Bentley team at both the Sebring 12 Hours and the Le Mans 24 Hours races. Smith took the Bentley Speed 8 to a first place win to mark the sixth win for a Bentley at Le Mans. The Guy Smith edition will have a Beluga exterior, a Beluga interior with Hotspur stitching, and a veneer of Piano Black with Dark Aluminum.