Bentley is celebrating the 85th anniversary of the Blue Train race with a limited-edition version of the Mulsanne Speed. The custom-built sedan was introduced at the Techno Classica show that is currently taking place in Essen, Germany.
The 1930 Blue Train race was no ordinary motorsport event. According to Bentley’s archives department, Captain Woolf Barnato, the company’s chairman at the time, bet that his Speed Six could make the trip from Cannes to Calais, France, faster than the Calais-Mediterranée Express, which was colloquially known as the Blue Train.
That was an ambitious bet if there ever was one, but Barnato upped the ante by proclaiming that he could reach his club in London before the train even got anywhere near the English Channel. A three-time Le Mans winner, Barnato was no stranger to high speeds so he drove across France flat-out and won the race with merely four minutes to spare. The feat earned him – and his Speed Six – a prominent spot in Bentley’s history.
The commemorative Mulsanne is instantly recognizable thanks to a special radiator grille with a square mesh design and a period-correct Bentley emblem. The sedan is finished in black and it rides on matching black alloy wheels.
Interior pictures have not been published yet but Bentley promises the door panels and the rear quarter inserts feature a fluting pattern that is directly inspired by the upholstery in Barnato’s car. The dashboard boasts a decorative veneered image of the Speed Six.
Bentley has not made any mechanical modifications under the hood, meaning the limited-edition Mulsanne Speed Blue Train is powered by a 6 3/4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that makes 530 horsepower and a massive 811 lb-ft. of torque. Bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the eight-cylinder sends the 5,900-pound Mulsanne from zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds.
The person lucky enough to buy the very first Mulsanne Blue Train edition will receive a one-off basket trimmed with Burnt Oak and Camel Hide. The basket contains silver-plated cutlery made by Robbe & Berking, Haviland Limoges porcelain tableware, crystal champagne flutes and an Angora picnic rug woven in Scotland.
Just four examples of the Bentley Mulsanne Speed Blue Train edition will be built by hand in Crewe, England. Surprisingly, the cars will exclusively be offered to customers in mainland Europe.