SIX BENTLEY MILESTONES AT LE MANS CLASSIC WITH A EUROPEAN PREMIERE
SIX BENTLEY MILESTONES AT LE MANS CLASSIC WITH A EUROPEAN PREMIERE
- Recently announced GT Le Mans Collection to be viewed for the first time
- Celebration of Bentley milestones at 2023 Le Mans Classic with unique experiences
- Comprehensive collection of Bentley models on display, statically and dynamically from the past and present: https://www.bentleymedia.com/en/le-mans-history
- 75 historic Bentleys to race as part of the Benjafield’s Club
- Unique experiences throughout the event: https://www.bentleymotors.com/en/world-of-bentley/experiences/events/le-mans-classic.html
(Munich, 23 June) The recently-announced Bentley Continental GT Le Mans Collection will make its European static debut at 2023 Le Mans Classic as part of the largest presence by Bentley to date. The public will be able to enjoy different Bentley touchpoints next to the village, in the paddock, and at the ‘raccordement’.
This year’s Le Mans Classic will see a collection of Bentley models, displayed statically at the Club Azure/Garden 24, adjacent to the heart of the Le Mans track, the village and in the paddock. To celebrate the sixth win of Bentley at Le Mans 24 Hours, the brand is highlighting six milestones honouring the history of the brand.
MILESTONE 1: GT LE MANS COLLECTION – 1 OUT OF 24
Firstly, a limited-edition of 48 Continental GTs globally, including 24 coupes in Europe, have been created to mark 20 years since Bentley’s sixth victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and 100 years since the first running of the legendary race. Each of the exclusive GT Le Mans Collection features unique product content such as the three-way Bentley Rotating Display, offering a choice of touchscreen, dual veneer or analogue dials – but with a twist; in place of the standard central dial is a Vitrine displaying an engine valve from the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 of the 2003 Le Mans winning Bentley Speed 8. The car will be displayed in the Club Azure area.
MILESTONE 2: 2002 SPEED 8 002/6
While the latter made its return to Le Mans, taking part in the centenary celebrations of the ultimate motorsport marathon, the car is now displayed in the Le Mans museum accessible to the public and the Bentley guests. In front of the Bentley Club Azure, its sister car will be displayed, the Speed 8 from 2002. Bentley 002/6 was the sole Bentley entry for the 2002 Le Mans, a year after Team Bentley’s remarkable debut third place finish. Running as car #8, it finished in fourth place. This model will be seen in front of the Club Azure in the public area alongside another key moment for the brand at Le Mans.
MILESTONE 3: 1929 41/2 LITRE SUPERCHARGED BLOWER AND BLOWER CONTINUATION
The 1929 4½ Litre Supercharged, team car #2, UU 5872 will indeed be statically displayed. No pre-war Bentley had an impact like the 4½ Litre ‘Blower’ Bentley. Its thunderous performance thrilled thousands - including author Ian Fleming, who later gave fictional hero James Bond a supercharged 4½ Litre Bentley. UU 5872 was driven by Bentley Boy Henry (Tim) Birkin at Le Mans in 1930. Owned by Bentley Motors since 2000, the UU 5872 is today part of the Heritage Garage located within the original 1930s brick-built factory and was previously the ‘project forum’, where models such as the 2003 Continental GT were planned and developed.
Part of the centenary of Bentley Motors, the company announced the creation of a continuation series of 12 Bentley Blowers, using laser-scanned 3D CAD data taken from the No. 2 Team Car, which have now been all delivered. Out of the 12, a pair of Blower Continuation Series cars will take part in the Grid 1 race. Both the factory-owned Blower Car Zero and a customer car will be racing, with the former building on its recent first test race at Donington Park in the UK.
MILESTONE 4: 1938 CORNICHE 41/4 LITRE CORNICHE
The ‘Embiricos’ 4¼ Litre Bentley of 1938 inspired Bentley to create an aerodynamic Mark V called the Corniche, which was the precursor to the iconic R Type Continental of 1952. In the late 1930s the ‘Embiricos’ Bentley had shown the value of aerodynamics for fast road and track driving. Its success inspired Bentley to commission a one-off four-door Mark V in a similar ‘streamlined’ style. Though it never saw production, the Corniche is a significant model in Bentley’s history. It is finished in period-correct Imperial Maroon with a side flash of Heather Grey, while the interior was trimmed in typical Vanvooren style using the correct Connolly Vaumol hide and West of England cloth. The Corniche will be displayed in the paddock.
MILESTONE 5: 1953 R-TYPE AND ITS RELATED GT V8 AZURE – STYLE ICON
The 1953 R-Type JAS 949 is one of only 208 examples of the R Type Continental ever built – but the car had a greater impact than the limited numbers suggest. Quoted as ‘a modern magic carpet which annihilates great distances’, the R-Type Continental was the fastest four-seat luxury saloon in the world when launched in 1952. For the 70th birthday, a unique and one-off handcrafted Continental GT Azure has been created by Bentley Motors Limited. Both will be accessible to be viewed in the main exhibition hall.
MILESTONE 6: 2019 BENTLEY MULLINER BATUR – 1 OUT OF 18
Showcasing the new design language of the brand, the Bentley Mulliner Batur will be exhibited in the paddock. Limited to just 18 series examples, the Batur is the most powerful Bentley yet, with a 750 PS version of the iconic, hand-assembled W12 engine that has metaphorically and literally powered Bentley’s success for the last two decades. As the engine enters its final phase of its life, with the ordering ending this year, Bentley is on its Beyond100 strategy journey to be fully electrified next year. The exemplar displayed at Le Mans Classic is the second development Batur, Engineering car Zero-Zero, featuring beautiful paintwork in Mulliner Gloss Mariana Teal Pearlescent, as well as some exciting features such as lower body styling in Satin Carbon Fibre, an endless bonnet in Gloss Dark Titanium finish,machined titanium organ stops with machined aluminium stalk controls, gear knob accents and bullseye vent surrounds. Additionally, the Batur features the latest Naim for Mulliner Upgrade Hifi System developed specifically for the Batur.
Last but not least 75 historic Bentley will be racing as part of the Benjafield’s Club. When not racing, the public will be able to see all the cars 2 minutes away from the Club Azure.
Le Mans Classic promises to be the most exciting one to date with the largest Bentley presence ever.
- ENDS –
Le Mans Classic is opening its doors from 29 June from 14:00
Bentley representatives on site:
Amel Boubaaya, Head of Marketing and Communications, Bentley Motors Europe - +49 173 26 89 143
The full press information and images are available to view and download from the Bentley Media Website:
GT Le Mans Collection - https://www.bentleymedia.com/en/newsitem/1442-the-le-mans-collection-celebrating-shared-history
2023 Speed back at Le Mans 24 Hours- https://www.bentleymedia.com/en/newsitem/1466-bentley-works-race-cars-from-past-and-present-return-to-le-mans-to-celebrate-centenary
1953 R-Type and the related Continental GT - https://www.bentleymedia.com/en/newsitem/1419-70th-birthday-of-famous-heritage-car-celebrated-with-modern-interpretation
Notes to editors
Bentley Motors is the most sought-after luxury car brand in the world. The company’s headquarters in Crewe is home to all of its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production of the company’s five model lines, Continental GT, Continental GT Convertible, Flying Spur, Bentayga and Bentayga EWB. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury car brands such as Bentley. It is also an example of high-value British manufacturing at its best. Bentley employs around 4,000 people at Crewe.