Bentley Motors is demonstrating the beauty of bespoke with a new very special limited edition Mulsanne. The Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner pays homage to the founding father of the company and incorporates a genuine piece of Bentley history in every car.
Inside each of the 100 limited edition Mulsannes, a slice of the original crankshaft taken from W.O. Bentley’s personal 8 Litre car decades ago – the last model he designed for Bentley Motors back in 1930 – is displayed.
As Bentley approaches its centenary in 2019, Mulliner designers reflected on the last 99 years of an extraordinary British automotive story to imagine the new Mulsanne W.O. Edition. In doing so, they have created a truly unique collector’s item.
The Mulsanne W.O. Edition can be specified on any of the three-model Mulsanne range, based on customer preference. Key features include a colour split interior cut from Heritage Hide reflecting the patina of vintage cars, elegant Beluga black wheels, and a stunning cocktail cabinet or bottle cooler featuring a slice of W.O.’s own 8 Litre crankshaft set into the armrest.
This special model will make its public debut at Monterey Car Week in California USA in late August, with customer deliveries commencing in 2019 – Bentley’s centenary year.
The Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner – A Piece of History
The new Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner draws on design cues taken from the 8 Litre – built in an era that has been defined as the ‘golden age’ of motoring in Britain. Just 100 examples will be handcrafted by Mulliner.
The interior displays a range of exquisite features inspired by luxury living in the 1930s – key to which is the Mulliner illuminated cocktail cabinet. A marquetry scene on the handcrafted unit – depicting the geometric front matrix grille and headlight of the 8 Litre – reveals a display window, inside which a piece of the crankshaft from W.O. Bentley’s own 8 Litre car is showcased. Just below the machined metal display case is an inscription detailing the significance of the Bentley artefact.
To create the marquetry scene, a number of different veneers and materials were used. Four different wood types give contrast and depth to the piece, while aluminium is used to achieve the highlights, signature and geometric pattern. The diamond-like borders that run parallel to each side add to the contemporary look while retaining an art deco feel. The piece is finished with W.O.’s signature.
An interior colour split made from luxurious Fireglow Heritage and Fireglow hide is complemented further by Beluga hide detailing and blind stitching. Dark Stain Burr Walnut veneer extends to the minor gauge panel, steering wheel rim and other areas.
The Mulsanne is finished with Fireglow lambswool rugs, glass tumblers, privacy curtains to the rear doors, and a rear seat entertainment system.
The Mulsanne W.O. Edition further enhances its formidable road presence with Onyx paintwork (although customers can specify other colours from Bentley’s extensive pallet), chrome bonnet strip and graceful Flying B Mascot atop the optional chrome radiator shell and grille. A discreet W.O. Bentley signature badge is displayed on the lower bumper, while special centenary badging adorns the self-levelling wheel centres and door treadplates.
The Mulsanne W.O. Edition can be specified on any of the three-model Mulsanne range, based on customer preference. Each model is already a true statement of Bentley’s innovation and craftsmanship. Bentley’s flagship model is the world’s finest handmade car, representing the ultimate combination of luxury and performance.
The Bentley 8 Litre – The Last Car Designed By W.O.
The 8 Litre was described as W.O. Bentley’s finest grand tourer. Launched in 1930, it was also the last car he personally designed for Bentley Motors.
It was the largest and most luxurious Bentley of its time, featuring the most powerful engine of any car available in Britain – a 7,983cc straight six that offered remarkable performance. W.O. said of the 8 Litre: “I have always wanted to produce a dead silent 100-mph car, and now I think we have done it.”
Originally registered GK 706, W.O.’s was the second 8 Litre off the production line and became his personal transport. He commissioned HJ Mulliner to build a saloon body on the 12-foot, short-wheelbase chassis. W.O. was then forced to sell his beloved car in 1931.
It was bought back by Bentley Motors in 2006, when the car then underwent a sympathetic restoration, including replacing the original crankshaft, slices of which are now being symbolically installed in the new Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner.
W.O.’s 8 Litre has since become a symbolic ‘company car’ for each successive Bentley CEO, preserving a tradition that dates back to the company founder. It is now a focal point in the Bentley Motors Lineage Exhibition, situated at company headquarters in Crewe, England.
Bentley’s Centenary – 100 Years of Extraordinary
In 1919 Walter Owen (W.O.) Bentley created a company with a simple objective: to build “a fast car, a good car, the best in its class”. This guiding principle has driven Bentley ever since, pushing the brand forward and making it the leader in automotive luxury around the world today.
The 10th of July 2018 marks the start of Bentley’s 100th year and the countdown to the brand’s centenary in 2019. This extraordinary milestone – reached by only a special few companies – will be a cause for celebration of the company’s history and its global success today.