There’s a very good reason this Bentley Continental GT Convertible has a big number ‘1’ slapped on its already eye-catching grille. It’s a reference to the Bentley Blower No.1, one of the British firm’s most celebrated racing cars.
The car was driven by a chap called Tim Birkin - one of the ‘Bentley Boys’ - and derived from the Bentley 4½ Litre. Birkin added a supercharger to the big inline-four engine, which is where the ‘Blower’ nickname came from. In 1932, it set the lap record at Brookland’s outer circuit.
Along with the number painted on the grille that provides a nod to the original Blower, the ‘Number 1 Edition by Mulliner’ also features 18-carat gold badging on the wings. Inside, the Continental’s rotating display has been altered, with the set of clocks incorporating metal cast from a piston once used in the old racer.
Other special features include a standard-fit Bentley Centenary Specification Pack, Number 1 treadplate inserts, and Grand Black wood veneer with 18-carat gold trim.
It’s available only with Bentley’s 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12, providing 592bhp to all four wheels. You do have a choice of two colours, though - Dragon Red II or Beluga, while the folding roof can be specced in either Claret or Beluga.
Bentley hasn’t provided a price for the car, but given the level of bespoke fiddling that’s gone on, it’s likely to be significantly more expensive than the base £175,890 GTC. Just 100 will be built.