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by Tim Beissmann

The Bentley Mulsanne Speed Blue Train by Mulliner has been unveiled at the Techno-Classica show in Essen, Germany, commemorating the 85th anniversary of the Bentley Speed Six’s famous race victory over the Calais-Mediterrainée Express in 1930.

Eighty-five years ago, Bentley chairman Captain Woolf Barnato accepted a wager that he could both beat the Calais-Mediterrainée Express, or ‘Blue Train’ as it was known, in a race between Cannes and Calais and make it back to his club in London before the train reached the English Channel.

Barnato was victorious, and as they say, the rest is history.

To mark the anniversary of one of Bentley’s most triumphant moments, the craftsmen and women at the company’s bespoke coachbuilding division, Mulliner, have been commissioned to build four Mulsane Speed Blue Train special edition vehicles, each incorporating historical references and modern interpretations of design details from the original Speed Six.

Bentley-Mulsanne-Speed-Blue-Train-2

Examples include the fluting pattern in the door panels and the rear quarter inserts, which echo the interior of Barnato’s original Bentley ‘Blue Train’ Speed Six.

The dashboard features a veneer image of the original car while the treadplate plaques are inscribed with ‘Blue Train 85 Years’ and the grille features a nostalgic square mesh design.

Other unique elements include 21-inch Mulliner Driving Specification black alloys with polished centre caps, a Bentley Driver’s Club badge on the grille, retractable Flying B with ‘Blue Train’ and ’85 Years’ engraved on the base, and embroidered headrests with a silhouette of the Bentley Speed Six and ‘Blue Train’ lettering.

The first Blue Train limited edition will also come with a personalised hamper, finished with burnt oak and camel hide to match the car’s interior and filled with Robbe & Berking silver-plated cutlery, Haviland Limoges porcelain crockery, Linley crystal champagne flutes, and an Angora picnic rug, woven in Scotland.

Bentley has not announced pricing for the Mulsanne Speed Blue Train by Mulliner special edition at this stage.

Unveiled at last September’s Paris motor show, the Mulsanne Speed is powered by a 395kW/1100Nm 6.75-litre twin-turbo V8, and is capable of hauling its 2685kg frame from 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 305km/h.




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