Bentley producing Grand Convertible in grandiose exclusivity

The Googology wiki that celebrates numbers has entries for 42, 151, SpongeBob's Number, and Three Hundred Billion Gazillion. The wiki has no entry for the number 19, which means it doesn't commemorate Steely Dan's "Hey Nineteen," Paul Hardcastle's song "19," or the official production run of the Bentley Grand Convertible. That's right, the abundant and abundantly luxurious Mulsanne-based Grand Convertible will arrive on public roads in 2019. However, Bentley plans just 19 examples of the droptops, and none of them will come to America; only Europe, the Middle East, and Russia have deemed the Grand Convertible roadworthy.

Retail price for the Grand Convertible, as if you could buy one in the store, is said to start at $3.5 million - roughly ten times more than the recently-facelifted Mulsanne Speed donor vehicle. ( YouTube gearhead Shmee150 captured the new production look in video taken this month at the Bentley showroom in Dubai.)

Actual prices will surely run much higher since Bentley's Mulliner division will oversee the builds. That means custom two-tone colors, shape-shifting diamond quilting inside, Beluga leather, color-matched contrast stitching, and a Burr Walnut tonneau that's the largest veneer ever used on a Bentley. All of that comes before appending every fanciful option an owner consents to fund.

Why the wee production run, when Bentley could certainly sell more than 19 specimens? Walter Owen Bentley founded his car company in August, 1919. Even though Walter's first Bentley 3-Litre didn't arrive until 1921, the 19 Grand Convertibles honor the centenary of the company's official founding. Bentley foreshadowed the minuscule production last year, though in a different guise: in March 2016, when Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer suggested the return of the Azure convertible, the boss said a potential Azure "would be built in [a batch of] 20 units and sold to absolute connoisseurs at a very high price." Give or take a digit, sounds like promises kept.

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