With an introduction by Ralph Lauren
Bentley is celebrating 100 years, and aptly enough, they have tied up with specialist luxury book publisher, Opus, for a series of limited edition books. At almost a metre wide when opened and weighing approximately 30 kilos, the Bentley Centenary Opus is much more than a coffee table book. Indeed it is the biggest book ever produced on the story of an automotive brand.
Available in three distinct versions – the Mulliner, the Centenary and the 100 Carat limited editions – these will be confined to an exclusive print run of 100 copies worldwide for Mulliner, 500 copies worldwide for Centenary, and just seven for 100 Carat – to reflect the rarity, collectible value and long-term investment that the book embodies.
Created, printed and hand-bound by master binders in England, the book utilises leather hides from the same sources as those used in Bentley models, while the Bentley Wings badge that adorns the front cover is an official hand-crafted badge, the same as those used on every Centenary model. Owners will be able to choose their own Bentley hide colour for the front cover of their edition.
Between the covers the content features never-seen-before imagery, rare historical content and photography exclusive to the Bentley Opus, with special gatefold pages measuring two metres across.
Highlights of the Mulliner edition include iconic giant 20in x 24in Polaroid Portraits to showcase 10 landmark Bentleys – the first time the world’s largest polaroid camera has been used to photograph automobiles – and a collection of 56 Bentley model watercolours commissioned exclusively for the Bentley Opus project and individually painted on silk paper.
A piece of Bentley racing history completes the edition with a section of competition Michelin rubber crafted from the ‘front left’ raced-used tyre taken from the 24-hour Le Mans-winning Speed 8 of 2003. This historic element will be inlaid into the inside cover of the Mulliner clamshell presentation case.
One very special feature is the ‘tailor-made’ bespoke option. Owners can have their own photographs included on special bespoke pages within their Bentley Opus edition. Being part of the Centenary story – unique in publishing – means that owners can ensure their own cars and treasured memories are included in the story. The Mulliner edition owners can also request their own cherished Bentley models cars to be photographed by Opus for inclusion on their own editions. Another unique personalisation option offers owners the choice of having their names gilded in gold or silver onto the cover of their edition if they wish.
The third version of the book, the exquisite 100 Carat edition, offers the ultimate in embellishment and decoration, adorned with 100 carats of diamonds and limited to an exclusive issue of seven – one for each continent. The iconic Wings badge is set in a choice of white gold or platinum to enhance the stunning diamond border.
Mulliner Edition – 100 copies: £12,500 per copy
Centenary Edition – 500 copies: £3,000 per copy
100 Carat Edition – 7 copies: £200,000 per copy