Bentley Mulliner, the British luxury carmaker’s uber-customisation division, has announced the completion of the first customer cars in both of its current projects.
Bacalar “Car One” will be Mulliner’s first coachbuilt barchetta to be delivered to its customer. Similarly, Blower “Car One” is the first customer car of the “millimetre-accurate” mechanical recreation of Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin’s 1929 supercharged four-and-quarter-litre, making it the world’s first pre-war continuation series. Both cars are the first of their respective 12 vehicle series.
Mulliner currently offers its services under three segments. “Collections” focuses on producing limited-editions or bespoke customisations of current Bentley models. “Classic” specialises in the restoration or recreation of Bentley’s from the past. Restoration of a 1939 Bentley Corniche or the above mentioned Blower Continuation series are recent examples. “Coachbuilt” reconnects the Mulliner name with its true heritage – coachbuilding, but using contemporary techniques and sustainable materials. The Queen’s State Limousine, Mulsanne Grand Limousine and the Bacalar barchetta are the recent creations of this segment.
The Bacalar and Blower first customer cars are, in fact, the second cars of both models. The first being their engineering prototypes, known within Bentley as “Car Zeroes”. Each has completed significant durability, mileage, performance and climatic testing in various locations. The engineering sign-off of both projects was successfully achieved before commencing customer builds.
Blower “Car One” exemplifies classic design, with a body trimmed in “period-correct Rexine.” The car is finished in bespoke Birkin Green paint, a recreation of the colour used on the original Blower on which it’s based. The green bodywork is complemented by identically coloured wire wheels, with colour-matched leather trimming the interior.
According to Bentley, the car is mechanically “identical to Birkin’s original, save for two safety-critical features.” The two being the modern electric fuel pumps and a foam baffle to the fuel tank. In addition, a reworked alternative to the original dynamo has been added. Dubbed the Dynator, it offers a more powerful and reliable charging system whilst retaining the look of the original dynamo.
The engine is a brand new example of W.O. Bentley’s own four-and-quarter-litre design. It features aluminium pistons, an overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder and twin spark plugs. Attached to the front is the iconic supercharger that gives the Blower its name. It is an exact recreation of the one created in the 1920s by renowned engineer Amherst Villiers. Power has been measured as part of engine sign-off, with the near-100-year old design “reliably making 240 bhp.”
Bacalar “Car One” has a carbon fibre body, finished in a bespoke colour for the lead customer – “champagne-tinted satin silver” called Atom Silver. The car sits on 22-inch Bacalar Tri-Finish wheels, with polished faces, dark grey satin spokes and gloss Moss Green accent highlights. The same Moss Green accent is applied to the front grille centre bar, the insides of the headlamps, the upper body chrome surround and around the gloss black “power humps” to the rear. Gloss black also provides contrast to the A-pillars, grille meshes and surrounds, bonnet vents, side vents, lower body, rear bumper insert and brake callipers. The rear of the car is finished with gloss black outer exhaust tips with Moss Green inners.
Naturally, the black and green sequence extends to the interior. Beluga leather is accented with Moss Green hide to the wings of the console. Moss Green is also found on the outer seatbacks and throughout the cabin as contrast stitching through the unique Bacalar quilting pattern. The seat centres use fine Nappa leather, while the carpets are beluga diamond-carved overmats with Moss Green binding and stitching.
Open Pore Riverwood over Gloss Black veneer with unique satin bronze detailing flows across the cockpit into the doors and behind the front seats, creating a circle of 5,000-year-old veneer. The details of the cabin are truly special. There are bronze finishes to the steering wheel and headrest bezels, upper ventilation bullseye vents and accent rings. A satin nickel finish has been applied to the clock and Bentley Rotating Display dial faces. There are black anodised interior brightware, bright chrome Bentley wings, and gloss black finishing to the speaker grilles. Bespoke Bacalar luggage, that fits behind the front seats, are crafted in Beluga hide with contrast Bentley embroidered emblems.
Commenting on the two cars, Bentley’s Director of Mulliner and Motorsport, Paul Williams, says: “Seeing these first two cars now finished has given the whole team an enormous sense of pride. Years of work have gone into the design and development of these projects, and seeing them together is incredibly rewarding.”
Mulliner is truly the only place in the world that could deliver a 21st century, coachbuilt grand touring barchetta at the same time as recreating an iconic road-going 1929 race car. I’m excited for our customers to take delivery of their new cars, and to see the rest of the orders in both series come to life.”