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Understanding the Bentley Mulliner Story

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A simple breakdown of the 3 new divisions that Bentley Mulliner will drive into the future with, and just how Mulliner and Bentley became intertwined.

Understanding the Bentley Mulliner story

Mulliner was founded as a saddler in 1559 passing down craftsmanship from generation to generation. In the 1760s, the Mulliner family business refocused on coachbuilding for horse-drawn carriages. With the arrival of the motor car, the company stepped away from horse-drawn carriages and focused on mechanical powered coachbuilding.

In the early days of the motor car, there were no showrooms; no gleaming car exteriors from which the buyer could choose. The very first drivers bought a vehicle comprising only an engine, a drivetrain, four wheels and a set of controls. For the rest, they needed a coachbuilder.

1912 Munlliner advertisement for limousines
A 1912 Munlliner coachbuilding advertisement for a limousine coach design.

In 1923 Mulliner was still an independent coachbuilder and were commissioned to craft a bespoke, two-seater Bentley for the 1923 Olympia Show in London. This created a bond between the two companies sparking a Bentley Mulliner Story that would last for decades. Mulliner bodied over 240 Bentley chassis in the 1920s alone and became renowned as the very best of the new coachbuilding firms.

1952 Bentley R Type Continental
1952 Bentley R Type Continental

In the 1950’s Mulliner designed for the 1952 Bentley R-Type Continental, the origins of which continue to influence design today through the Bentley Continental GT. It wasn’t until 1959 that Mulliner cemented its partnership with Bentley by becoming part of the Bentley business when Rolls-Royce, who owned Bentley at the time, purchased Mulliner as well.

Mulliner later moved into the old engineering experimental department at the Bentley headquarters in Crewe, UK and has remained there ever since and has been responsible for notable cars such as the 2002 Bentley Limousine owned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth II 2002 State Bentley Mulliner limousine
2002 Bentley State Limousine of Queen Elizabeth II involved work by Bentley’s Mulliner division

Today: Bentley Mulliner’s new 3 portfolio divisions

Up until now the Mulliner division of Bentley represented around 40 of Bentley’s estimated 4000 employees. They create some of the most innovatively conceived and painstakingly handcrafted features found on today’s Bentley’s and is responsible for delivering customer personalisation and bespoke commissioning. Today Bentley has announced the separation of the Mulliner portfolio into 3 distinct arms: Bentley Mulliner Collections, Bentley Mulliner Classic and Bentley Mulliner Coachbuilt.

The three new Bentley Mulliner portfolio divisions
The three new Bentley Mulliner portfolio divisions. Credit: Bentley

Bentley Mulliner Collections

Mulliner limited edition 2019 Bentley Continental GT Number 9 Edition
Mulliner limited edition 2019 Bentley Continental GT Number 9 Edition. Credit: Bentley

This arm remains closest to what Mulliner has recently represented at Bentley. The Bentley Mulliner Collections team will continue to offer a bespoking service to every Bentley customer which involves offering unique paints, hides, timbers and thread combinations and other bespoke feature content. This arm will also continue to produce luxury-focused derivatives of the core Bentley range such as the Continental GT Mulliner Convertible, Mulliner limited edition 2019 Bentley Continental GT Number 9 Edition (100 examples) and the Bentley Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner (100 examples)

Benley Mulliner Classic

Bentley Mulliner Classic 1929 Team Blower
Bentley Mulliner Classic 1929 Team Blower pre-war race car continuation. Credit: Bentley
Bentley Mulliner Classic 1929 Team Blower interior
Only 12 will be made, one for every race the original Team Blowers entered. Credit: Bentley

The Bentley Mulliner Classic arm was introduced in 2019 with the announcement that Bentley’s 1929 Team Blower was to be reborn with a new build of 12 supercharged 4½-litre examples of the iconic car. The original Sir Tim Birkin Bentley Blower, chassis number HB 3403, was stripped down to every nut and bolt and digitally scanned to create the 12 new identical replicas which have all now been sold. These models, each individually handcrafted by a team of specialists from Bentley Mulliner, will form the world’s first pre-war race car continuation series. This subdivision of Mulliner also completed an immaculate restoration of the 1939 Bentley Corniche in 2019.

Bentley Mulliner Coachbuilding

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar the first of the Bentley coachbuilding division
Bentley Mulliner Bacalar -The first of the Bentley Mulliner Coachbuilding division. Credit: Bentley

The new Bentley Mulliner Bacalar will be the first model produced under the coachbuilding arm with other new bespoke Bentleys to follow in time as part of the Bentley Mulliner Coachbuilt portfolio.

Tracy Crump, Bentley Mulliner’s Head of Commercial Operations, commented on the new divisions and the new Bacalar, “While Bentley’s motto is ‘Be Extraordinary’, at Bentley Mulliner we look to take it one step further, ‘Beyond Extraordinary’. With the new Bacalar we have been able to do exactly that, providing a select number of customers with the opportunity to express their personal taste in a truly remarkable grand tourer. Meanwhile, Bentley Mulliner Classic will breathe new life into the most iconic cars from our past, while our Collections team continue their work to offer a bespoking service to each and every Bentley customer.”

Bentley Mulliner’s return to bespoke coachbuilding affords them the title of the oldest coachbuilding company in the world.

Luxury Cars

McLaren Elva Production Reduced to 149 Models

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McLaren has revealed that the Ultimate Series Elva production will be reduced to 149 models down from the original 399 vehicles.
McLaren Elva Spec Explore Magma
McLaren Elva in “Explore Magma”. Credit: McLaren Automotive

McLaren Elva owners worldwide are currently working with McLaren Special Operations (MSO) to determine their specifications and now with McLaren revealing the total numbers produced will be reduced from the original production run of 399 vehicles run down to 149 models, those owners will be glad to know they’ve already secured their build slot.

In the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic induced production shutdowns and compromised availability of parts, McLaren made the call to reduce the overall number of Elva’s to protect clients investment of the $1.7 million car, making it one of the most exclusive McLaren’s ever produced, second only to the Speedtail.

New clients and owners who already have a build-slot will continue to work with MSO Bespoke Liason Managers on a 1:1 basis and be guided through the design process via the new McLaren Advanced Visualiser (MAV), a state-of-the-art virtual reality visualizer created by McLaren and built on software originally purposed for gaming design.

McLaren Elva Specs
McLaren Elva Explore “Electrify”

Thanks to the level of technology offered by MAV, clients can explore the car in detail and “open and close” the doors in virtual reality, offering the chance to “get inside” the vehicle and view different interior options, including seat colors, material finishes and stitching colors.

As part of the MAV program, McLaren has revealed two new Elva design concepts: Timeless and Explore, which include a range of visual themes.

McLaren Elva Spec Timeless Artisan
McLaren Elva in “Timeless Artisan”. Credit: McLaren Automotive

“The themes in Explore evoke the spirit of adventure expressed by Elva ownership; Magma, for example, suggests the power of a molten lava in a Satin Azores and Satin Memphis Red Velocity blend of exterior colours, a look that continues inside with Caviar Black Ultrafabrics to create an unapologetically dramatic appearance.

McLaren Elva Spec Timeless Purity
McLaren Elva in Timeless Purity. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Timeless, meanwhile, focuses on the sense of history encapsulated in the Elva’s design, balanced by a fascination with the future. The laid-back Urbane combination of Liquid Alloy Gloss exterior paint and Cortado Tan Enhanced Full Aniline leather interior is one of the themes, visually suggesting elegance coupled with relentless performance.”

“The Explore and Timeless concepts offer a contemporary aesthetic contrasting the heritage M1A Elva themes previously devised for our latest Ultimate Series car. “Both of these new concepts are tailored to showcase the Elva’s incredible form, be it Timeless’ classic elegance or Explore’s technical finishes. Both capture our core design principle of ‘everything for a reason,” said Robert Melville, Design Director McLaren Automotive

McLaren Elva Spec Timeless Lux
McLaren Elva in “Timeless Lux”. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Elva customers can still choose from several iconic McLaren racing livery options, including the McLaren Special Operations (MSO) designed M1A – a tribute to the McLaren racing car that competed in the 1964 Canadian Sports Car Grand Prix with its Magnesium Silver racing stripe and Accent Red pinstripe and number 4 racing number.

McLaren Elva Spec M1A
McLaren Elva in historic inspired livery “M1A”. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Another historic tribute livery is the M6A inspired by the McLaren Can-AM racer of 1967, which has been spec’d in Anniversary Orange with a Dove Grey stripe and race car details.

McLaren Elva Spec M6A
McLaren Elva in historic inspired livery “M6A”. Credit: McLaren Automotive

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Luxury Cars

Five Unique McLaren Senna GTR LM’s Inspired by 24 Hours of Le Mans

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McLaren Special Operations has revealed five unique Senna GTR LM models inspired by the McLaren F1 GTR’s that ruled the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Five unique McLaren Senna GTR LM cars by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive
Five unique McLaren Senna GTR LM cars by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive

McLaren’s bespoke division, the McLaren Special Operations (MSO) have revealed five special customer commissioned McLaren Senna GTR LM models inspired by the five McLaren F1 GTR’s that took out 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 13th position at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans. An even more astounding feat considering this was the first year McLaren had ever raced at Le Mans, and it was only three years after the creation of the F1.

The McLaren Senna GTR LM "The Ueno Clinic Car". Credit: McLaren Automotive
The McLaren Senna GTR LM “The Ueno Clinic Car”. Credit: McLaren Automotive

“The incredible cars of the McLaren Senna GTR LM collection are an exceptionally fitting way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our Le Mans victory in 1995,’” commented Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive, when sharing on the new models. “That achievement is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest endurance racing performances of all time, but for McLaren its importance was even greater because it demonstrated an immediate and undeniable connection between the racing DNA of our brand and the start of our road car journey.”

Based on the McLaren Senna GTR, which is McLaren’s fastest-lapping car outside of McLaren’s Formula 1 vehicles, the new GTR LM models have been given an upgraded powertrain producing 845PS and 800Nm from a recalibrated 4.0 liter twin-turbo V8 engine (offering 20PS more than the regular Senna GTR).

McLaren Senna GTR LM racing harness interior. Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM racing harness interior. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Each of the five special editions has received a unique hand-painted livery that pays tribute to its matching 1995 McLaren Le Mans car, along with bespoke features like the LM steering wheel with anodized gold gear shift paddles and control buttons, six-point fitted racing harnesses, gold-colored brake calipers and suspension wishbones and distinctive five-spoke OZ racing wheels reminiscent of the original F1 GTR.

“We wanted to make a major statement with this collection,’” explained Ansar Ali, Managing Director of McLaren Special Operations. “In creating these incredible cars to the requirements of some of our most discerning customers, we are showcasing the astonishing array of talent we have within MSO – a team that can visualise, design, produce and deliver products that really do take your breath away.

“The McLaren Senna GTR LM project has been a labour of love for nearly two years; we have gone to great lengths not only to perfect the engineering aspects of the cars, but also to gain co-operation from brand holders and partners to maximise authenticity.”

McLaren Senna GTR LM badging. Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM badging. Credit: McLaren Automotive

The Le Mans editions also feature a dedicated “1 of 1” nameplate with its VIN and the provenance details of its 1995 Le Mans F1 GTR “twin,” including the date of the race, the names of the three race drivers in that car, and the position in which they finished.

A bonus to owning one of the five limited editions is that each owner will be offered the opportunity to participate in a unique Le Mans circuit driving experience at the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans event (originally scheduled for 2020 now rescheduled due to COVID-19 restrictions). Owners will be able to drive their own GTR LM’s around the circuit on the morning of the race accompanied by the original F1 GTRs that competed in 1995.

McLaren Senna GTR LM 825/1 “The Ueno Clinic Car”

A tribute to the McLaren F1/01R, the winner of the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans and often referred to as “The Ueno Clinic Car.”

McLaren Senna GTR LM 825/1 "The Ueno Clinic Car" by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM 825/1 “The Ueno Clinic Car” by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive

The charcoal grey livery with Ueno Clinic branding was relatively unknown at the time but was thrust into the limelight after their win. The McLaren Special Operations team has recreated the same 1995 livery and created a new paint tone, “Ueno Grey,” especially for it.

Other details of the original car have faithfully been recreated, including the cars unique driving lamps and the OZ Racing wheels.

Created with special paint tone "Ueno Grey"by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive
Created with special paint tone “Ueno Grey”by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive

The car bearing race number 59 was driven in 1995 by two-time Le Mans winner Yannick Dalmas, Japanese veteran Masanori Sekiya and former Formula One driver, JJ Lehto.

McLaren Senna GTR LM 825/6 “The Harrods Car”

A tribute to the McLaren F1/06R that finished 3rd in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans and often referred to as “The Harrods Car.”

McLaren Senna GTR LM "The Harrods Car" by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM “The Harrods Car” by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive

The bright yellow livery with contrasting green stripe was courtesy of the partnership with the London department store Harrods. While a 2015 McLaren P1 GTR was also finished in the same livery style, this is the first time the Harrods logo has appeared on a McLaren in 25 years. To achieve the same finish, the McLaren Special Operations went with Solar Yellow for the body and Heritage Green for the stripe and matching pinstripe detailing.

Solar Yellow and Heritage Green with matching pinstripe. Credit: McLaren Automotive
Solar Yellow and Heritage Green with matching pinstripe. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Driven by British drivers Andy Wallace, Derek Bell, and Justin Bell, the 1995 Harrods Car (51) was a contender for 1st place when it suffered a transmission fault two hours from the flag that saw Wallace nurse the car across the finish line to place third.

Inspired by the 1995 F1 GTR "Harrods Car". Credit: McLaren Automotive
Inspired by the 1995 F1 GTR “Harrods Car”. Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM 825/2 “The Gulf Car”

A tribute to the McLaren F1/02R that finished 4th and is often referred to as “The Gulf Car.”

Mclaren Senna GTR LM 825 Gulf Car Front Side View
The McLaren Senna GTR LM “Gulf Car”. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Driven by Brazilian Maurizio Sandro Sala and Brits Mark Blundell and Ray Bellm, Car 24 McLaren F1 GTR completed 291 rain-lashed laps at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995, eventually finishing in fourth place.

Reimagined by the McLaren Special Operations team. Credit: McLaren Automotive
Reimagined by the McLaren Special Operations team. Credit: McLaren Automotive

For this design, the McLaren Special Operations team has reimagined the 1995 Gulf Racing livery and used Gulf 95 Blue and Gulf 95 Orange with pinstripes to create a modern take on the original.

Oz Racing wheels have been used to finish the look in vivid orange and sills and roof strip in Gulf 95 silver and the Gulf Oil logo on the bonnet and doors.

Gulf Racing livery with Gulf 95 Blue and Gulf 95 Orange. Credit: McLaren Automotive
Gulf Racing livery with Gulf 95 Blue and Gulf 95 Orange. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Aryton Senna’s signature has also been emblazoned on the rear quarter of the bodywork.

Mclaren Senna GTR LM 825 Gulf Car Wheels
Five spoke OZ Racing wheels in Gulf 95 Orange. Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM 825/7 “The Jacadi Car”

A tribute to the McLaren F1/07R (Car 50) that finished in 5th place and often referred to as “The Jacadi Car.”

McLaren Senna GTR LM "The Jacadi Car" by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM “The Jacadi Car” by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Driven by French-based customer team Giroix Racing (French drivers Fabien Giroix and Olivier Grouillard) and Swiss pilot Jean-Denis Deletraz, Car 50 was only a lap behind the “Gulf Car” in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans when it finished 5th.

French themed livery in Le Mans Blue. Credit: McLaren Automotive
French themed livery in Le Mans Blue. Credit: McLaren Automotive

The McLaren Special Operations team has reimagined the original royal blue livery on the McLaren Senna GTR LM. The proudly French-themed livery sees a bright “Le Mans Blue” for the body while a metallic blue known as “Polaris” has been used for the complementing details along with authentic Elf logos of the French oil company.

Complete with authentic Elf logos. Credit: McLaren Automotive
Complete with authentic Elf logos. Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM 825/5 “The Cesar Car”

A tribute to the McLaren F1/05R (Car 42) that finished 13th and is often referred to as “The Cesar Car.”

McLaren Senna GTR LM "The Cesar Car". Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM “The Cesar Car”. Credit: McLaren Automotive

The matching McLaren Senna GTR LM has been given a modern reinterpretation of the livery and has been given design details like the pole position lap times, contemporary race trophies, and Le Mans branding cues.

Mclaren Senna GTR LM 825 Cesar Car Side View
Original livery by Cesar Baldaccini. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Run by French team Société BBA, Car 42 was driven by an all-French line-up of Jean-Luc Maury-Laribiere, Marc Sourd, and Hervé Poulin at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans. Maury-Laribiere and Poulin were pioneers of ‘art cars’ and asked renowned artist Cesar Baldaccini to envisage a livery for the F1 GTR they would be racing at Le Mans.

An experienced endurance racer, Poulin’s fine collection of racing trophies became the inspiration for Cesar’s work on the McLaren.

Reimagined by the McLaren Special Operations. Credit: McLaren Automotive
Reimagined by the McLaren Special Operations. Credit: McLaren Automotive

All five limited editions have now been completed and will be delivered to owners in the United States, Europe, and the UK.

As with all bespoke commissions created by McLaren Special Operations, their value remains undisclosed unless the owners choose to share this detail.

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Luxury Cars

Bentley Continental GT Mulliner Is Latest Design Created by the Mulliner Team

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The new Bentley Continental GT Mulliner is the latest addition to the “Collections Portfolio” and the most luxurious Continental GT to date.
The new Bentley Continental GT Mulliner. Credit: Bentley Motors
The new Bentley Continental GT Mulliner. Credit: Bentley Motors

Earlier this year, Bentley’s Mulliner design team gave the Continental GT Convertible special bespoke treatment, and now they’ve turned their attention to the coupe version and created the Bentley Continental GT Mulliner.

Designed by Bentley's bespoke Mulliner design team
Designed by Bentley’s bespoke Mulliner design team. Credit: Bentley Motors

The latest addition to the bespoke “Collections portfolio,” the new Bentley Continental GT Mulliner features the “Double Diamond” matrix grille seen only on Mulliner versions along with matching Mulliner front fender vents, Mulliner stitching and detailing throughout the interior, and Mulliner Welcome Lamps beneath the doors.

The Continental GT Mulliner has also been given a new painted and polished Mulliner 22” wheel design and features Bentley’s iconic self-leveling “B” badges at the center.

New Mulliner 22" wheel design.
New Mulliner 22″ wheel design. Credit: Bentley Motors

The Mulliner Driving Specification has also been fitted as standard, with the interior cabin featuring Mulliner details throughout like the “Diamond in Diamond” quilting on the seats, doors trims, and rear quarter panels created with 712 individual stitches per diamond and 400,000 stitches across the entire cabin. A unique color split along with eight different three-color combinations by Mulliner is also offered to owners.

Bentley Continental GT Mulliner Interior Seating
The Mulliner Driving Specification comes as standard. Credit: Bentley Motors
Bentley Continental GT Mulliner Diamond Quilting
Iconic “diamond in diamond” Mulliner stitching option. Credit: Bentley Motors

Meanwhile, the seats are finished with embroidered Mulliner logos, and the floor mats are edged with micro-piping to match the rest of the interior theme.

The center console has also been dressed in a new diamond milled technical finish that uses precision machining to form a perfect pattern of facets, flanked either side by Grand Black walnut veneer with chrome overlays.

Center console with new diamond milled finish. Credit: Bentley Motors
Center console with new diamond milled finish. Credit: Bentley Motors

A Breitling clock makes an appearance sitting at the center of the console. Simultaneously, the passenger side fascia is finished with a silhouette of the car’s exterior profile and the Mulliner logo. The veneer flows into the doors, completed by a discreet Bentley ‘B’ motif.

Mulliner stitching on the interior seats is standard. Credit: Bentley Motors
Mulliner stitching on the interior seats is standard. Credit: Bentley Motors

If all of the extra Mulliner details are not enough, further personalization is available with 88 different colorized veneer finishes that can be matched to the interior or exterior of the car.

The Bentley Continental GT Mulliner is available in either Bentley’s iconic 6.0-liter W12 powertrain delivering 635 PS (626 bhp) or the smaller but just as agile 4.0-liter V8 offering 550 PS (542 bhp).

Bentley Continental GT Mulliner Dashboard
Bentley Continental GT Mulliner dashboard detailing. Credit: Bentley Motors

Orders for both coupe and convertible versions of the Bentley Continental GT Mulliner will be taken from October 2020, with first deliveries early next year.

Front fender vents with Mulliner double diamond design. Credit: Bentley Motors
Front fender vents with Mulliner double diamond design. Credit: Bentley Motors

As an added extra, the new Continental GT Mulliner customers will receive the keys to their car in a bespoke, Mulliner-branded, and handcrafted presentation box containing individual leather pouches matching the three-color interior configuration of their vehicle.

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