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Bentley’s Le Mans buffet

About the author

Editor of BBC Autos, Matthew is a former editor at Automobile Magazine and the creator of the digital-only Roadtrip Magazine. His automotive and travel writing has appeared in such magazines as Wired, Popular Science, The Robb Report and Caribbean Travel + Life. He lives in Los Angeles with his wonderful wife and four-year-old daughter.

 

  • Bentley Motors' Le Mans Limited Editions
    The Guy Smith specification, inspired by the 2003 Le Mans winner, features black paint and hide, with piano black and dark aluminium interior trim. (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Motors' Le Mans Limited Editions
    The Guy Smith specification, inspired by the 2003 Le Mans winner, features black paint and hide, with piano black and dark aluminium interior trim. (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Motors' Le Mans Limited Editions
    The Guy Smith specification, inspired by the 2003 Le Mans winner, features black paint and hide, with piano black and dark aluminium interior trim. (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Motors' Le Mans Limited Editions
    The Guy Smith specification, inspired by the 2003 Le Mans winner, features black paint and hide, with piano black and dark aluminium interior trim. (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Motors' Le Mans Limited Editions
    The Guy Smith specification, inspired by the 2003 Le Mans winner, features black paint and hide, with piano black and dark aluminium interior trim. (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Motors' Le Mans Limited Editions
    The Guy Smith specification, inspired by the 2003 Le Mans winner, features black paint and hide, with piano black and dark aluminium interior trim. (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Motors' Le Mans Limited Editions
    The Guy Smith specification, inspired by the 2003 Le Mans winner, features black paint and hide, with piano black and dark aluminium interior trim. (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Motors' Le Mans Limited Editions
    The Guy Smith specification, inspired by the 2003 Le Mans winner, features black paint and hide, with piano black and dark aluminium interior trim. (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Motors' Le Mans Limited Editions
    The Guy Smith specification, inspired by the 2003 Le Mans winner, features black paint and hide, with piano black and dark aluminium interior trim. (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Boys: Guy Smith
    The 2002 Le Mans winner pilots the dramatic Bentley Speed 8 prototype. (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Boys: Glen Kidston
    Before a second-place Le Mans finish in 1929, driver Kidston (standing on the wall) watches teammate Jack Dunfee. Kidston won the race in 1930 with Woolf Barnato. (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Boys: Tim Birkin
    A former fighter pilot, Birkin won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1929 with Woolf Barnato. (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Boys: Woolf Barnato
    Pictured with teammate Glen Kidston after their 1930 victory, Barnato (right) had previously won Le Mans in 1928, with Bernard Rubin, and 1929, with Tim Birkin. (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Boys: Dudley “Benjy” Benjafield
    Benjafield, pictured here before a third-place Le Mans finish in 1929, had won the race in 1927 with co-driver Sammy Davis. (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Boys: John Duff
    The 1924 Le Mans winner behind the wheel, alongside co-driver Frank Clement. (Bentley Motors)

HIDE CAPTION

Automakers are rarely modest about singing the praises of the drivers who brought them glory on the racetrack, and few companies can claim a roster of characters quite as colourful – or as winning – as Bentley Motors.

To celebrate the famed “Bentley Boys” and Le Mans victories that date to 1924, the British automaker has unveiled not one, but six limited-edition specifications for its Mulsanne sedan and Continental coupe and convertible models. Among the honored drivers is 2003 Le Mans winner Guy Smith, and original Bentley Boy, John Duff who, with co-driver Jack Clement, took the checkered flag at Circuit de la Sarthe in 1924, the race’s second running.

Bentley will build 48 examples of each special edition – 48 apiece for Mulsanne, Continental GT coupe and GTC convertible in V8 and W12 trim, and Continental GT Speed in coupe form only. The cars are distinguished by special wheels and a unique combination of exterior paint, interior trim, leather and stitching, along with a numbered badge.

Surprisingly, the Le Mans editions will be exclusive to the North American market. Continental GT models will reach dealerships during the second quarter of 2013, with Mulsanne Le Mans Edition models arriving three months later. Pricing, with the Le Mans spec option, is as follows: Mulsanne ($325,390), Continental GT Speed coupe ($224,320), Continental GT W12 ($210,350), Continental GT Convertible W12 ($230,250), Continental GT V8 ($193,270) and Continental GT Convertible V8 ($210,970). 

Bentley's Le Mans Limited Edition Specifications

Driver: John Duff
Winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1924 (with Frank Clement)

  • Exterior: Moonbeam
  • Interior: Two-tone Linen and Beluga
  • Stitching: Contrast
  • Veneer: Piano black and bright aluminium

Driver: Dudley “Benjy” Benjafield
Winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1927 (with Sammy Davis).

  • Exterior: Verdant green (the colour of Bentley’s Le Mans-winning 2003 Speed 8 prototype
  • Interior: Two-tone Linen and Cumbrian Green
  • Stitching: Contrast
  • Veneer: dark Stain Burr Walnut and bright aluminium

Driver: Woolf Barnato
Winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1928 (with Bernard Rubin), 1929 (with Tim Birkin) and 1930 (with Glen Kidston).

  • Exterior: Granite
  • Interior: Hotspur
  • Stitching: Beluga
  • Veneer: Carbon Fiber in Continental series (dark Stain Burr Walnut with dark aluminium in Mulsanne)

Driver: Tim Birkin
Winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1929 (with Woolf Barnato)

  • Exterior: Glacier White
  • Interior: Beluga
  • Stitching: White
  • Veneer: Piano Black and bright aluminium

Driver: Glen Kidston
Winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1930 (with Woolf Barnato)

  • Exterior: dark Sapphire
  • Interior: Two-tone Newmarket Tan and Imperial Blue
  • Stitching: Contrast
  • Veneer: dark Stain Burr Walnut and dark aluminium
  • Continental GT Convertible models are finished with a Blue hued exterior roof.

Driver: Guy Smith
Winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2003 (with Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello)

  • Exterior: Beluga
  • Interior: Beluga
  • Stitching: Hotspur
  • Veneer: Piano Black and dark aluminium

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