Some 85 years ago, or so the story goes, Bentley Motors Chairman Captain Woolf Barnato made a wager that he could drive from Cannes, France to London, England in his Bentley Speed 6 faster than the Calais-Mediterranée Express, or “Blue Train.”
Amazingly, Captain Barnato succeeded, reaching his club before the Blue Train ever got to the English Channel. For the legions of devotees to the Bentley Motors brand, this snippet of history is every bit as important as the 1961 story of the E-Type’s incredible flat-out journey to Geneva is to Jaguar.
To commemorate this important snapshot of the marque’s history, the Bentley Mulsanne Speed “Blue Train” is showing at the Techno-Classica show in Essen, Germany right now. Only four examples of the Blue Train will be built, by Bentley Motors’ artisanal, bespoke coach building division, Mulliner. The four very special examples of the Bentley Mulsanne Speed Blue Train pay homage to the four minutes by which Captain Barnato beat the train to his club in London.
The name and exclusivity are, of course, not the only special touches being lent to this commemorative Bentley Mulsanne Speed; the door panels and rear quarter inserts feature a fluting pattern akin to the interior of that original Bentley Speed 6. The dash fascia bears a veneer likeness of the historic car, and the matching treadplate plaques read: “Blue Train 85 Years.” The front grille is an homage to the original Bentley Speed 6 unto itself, being of a retro classic square mesh design.
We can already say with some certainty that the Bentley Mulsanne Speed Blue Train is an instant classic, though it exists not so much for its own sake, as to commemorate a much older, historic car. Of course, the chances of you or I ever securing the original Bentley “Blue Train” Speed 6 are significantly less than zero, so what better way to offer true devotees of the Bentley Motors brand the chance to get in on the history and nostalgia of this important race?