Bentley is honoring its racing heritage with a new, very limited-edition version of its Mulsanne Speed sedan. It's called the Blue Train, and it was created to remember the victory of the company's iconic Speed Six in 1930. In that contest, Bentley Chairman Woolf Barnato accepted a challenge to not only beat the high-speed Le Train Bleu from Cannes to Calais, but that he could be in London by the time the train reached the English Channel. Barnato won the race, and from then on, the car he drove was known as the Blue Train Bentley.

The spiritual successor to that Speed Six, just four Mulsanne Speeds were handed to Mulliner for another of the coachbuilder's Limited Edition treatments. Exterior upgrades are kept simple, with unique black wheels, a menacing, almost steel-blue paint and grilles that look slightly darkened. In all, it's pretty simple.

Interior changes are limited, with Bentley saying the fluting on the door panels is based on the Barnato's Speed Six, while the wood veneer on the dash has an image of the race winner on it. In back, there's a personalized "hamper" (picnic basket, to us Yanks) that's been finished in Burnt Oak and Camel leather, so that it matches the interior. Inside, demanding owners are treated to "Robbe and Berking silver plated cutlery, Haviland Limoges porcelain crockery, Linley crystal champagne flutes and a 100-percent Angora picnic rug, woven in Scotland." Naturally, there are Blue Train details on things like the silverware holders.

"The fact that we are producing just four of these Limited Editions is highly significant, as Barnato famously made it to the club in London four minutes before the train arrived in Calais," Bentley's regional director for Europe, Robert Engstler, said in a statement. "The unique design elements bring back nostalgic memories of one of the most legendary Bentleys of all times."

We only have a pair of images of the newest Blue Train Bentley right now, and just one of the actual exterior of the vehicle itself. It's a looker, to be sure. Check it out, and then scroll down for the official press release from Bentley.
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BENTLEY MULSANNE SPEED 'BLUE TRAIN' BY MULLINER DEBUTS AT TECHNO-CLASSICA
APR 15, 2015

Historic 'Blue Train' race commemorated with 85th anniversary Mulliner Limited Edition
Mulliner artisans pay homage to famous 1930 Speed Six with bespoke features and intricate historical references
Total of four examples to be hand-crafted in Crewe for continental European customers
Mulsanne Speed is world's fastest ultra-luxury driving experience

(Crewe, 15th April 2015) Bentley Motors is commemorating the historic 'Blue Train' race won by the Bentley Speed Six in 1930 with a Mulliner Limited Edition – the Mulsanne Speed 'Blue Train'.

Debuting this week at the Techno-Classica show in Essen, Germany, just four examples will be hand-crafted in Crewe for customers in continental Europe.

85 years ago, Captain Woolf Barnato, Chairman of Bentley Motors and pioneering 'Bentley Boy', was staying in Cannes at the Carlton Hotel. He accepted a wager that not only could he beat the Calais-Mediterranée Express or 'Blue Train' back to Calais, but that he could be at his club in London before the train even reached the English Channel. He was, and the remarkable victory has been talked about ever since.

The 'Blue Train' Limited Edition is produced by the skilled craftsmen and women of Bentley's bespoke coachbuilding division, Mulliner. Each features a number of delightful historical references and modern interpretations of design details from the original Speed Six.

For example, the fluting pattern in the door panels and the rear quarter inserts echo the interior of Barnato's original car. The dashboard facia features an expertly crafted veneer image of the original Bentley 'Blue Train' Speed Six. Meanwhile, the treadplate plaques bear the wording 'Blue Train 85 Years' and the front grille features a square mesh design inspired by original Speed Six.

Richard Charlesworth, Head of the Bentley Heritage Collection, comments: "The Blue Train is one of the most famous and celebrated cars in the world, and it perfectly embodies the racing spirit of the Bentley. Woolf Barnato was a three-time Le Mans victor, but winning the Blue Train race captured the public's imagination, and fuelled the legend of the Bentley Boys. By beating the Calais-Mediterranée Express he forever guaranteed the Speed Six's place in automotive history."

The first 'Blue Train' Limited Edition delivered will also feature a personalised hamper, trimmed with Burnt Oak and Camel hide to perfectly match the interior of the car. Mulliner has crafted beautiful leather cutlery holders and a leather rug wrap-around, both featuring 'Blue Train' embroidery. The hamper contains exclusive Robbe & Berking silver plated cutlery, Haviland Limoges porcelain crockery, LINLEY crystal champagne flutes and a 100 percent Angora picnic rug, woven in Scotland.

Robert Engstler, Regional Director Europe, added: "The fact that we are producing just four of these Limited Editions is highly significant, as Barnato famously made it to the club in London four minutes before the train arrived in Calais. The unique design elements bring back nostalgic memories of one of the most legendary Bentleys of all times."

The Mulsanne Speed Blue Train by Mulliner can be seen at the Techno-Classica Show in Essen (Hall 7). from the 15th to the 19th of April 2015.

Mulliner – Rare by design

Mulliner exists to respond to the requirements of Bentley's most discerning customers. Mulliner Limited Editions reflect carefully chosen and inspirational themes. Individually these might have special significance for customers in specific markets, but what they all share is the highest standards of Mulliner craftsmanship – taking the concept of Bentley luxury and pushing it even further.

Mulliner Limited Editions are rare by design and, as a result, they all have the potential to become instant classics, desired by many but driven only by a fortunate few.

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