In 1930, a bet was made. Captain Woolf Barnato was staying at a hotel in Cannes, along the Mediterranean coast of France, where he was propositioned with a wager. At the time, he was both a pioneering “Bentley Boy” and the Chairman of Bentley Motors, a company he had only sat at the helm of for five years.
Barnato believed that, in his Bentley Speed Six, he could reach Calais, and even London, from Cannes faster than the Calais-Mediterranee Express could reach the English Channel. Today, the distance from Cannes to Calais is around 745 miles, and Google Maps tells us it takes around 11 hours to cover that distance.
As a press release issued by Bentley today reminds us, he was right. He did, indeed, arrive at his club in London prior to the Calais-Mediterranee Express, also known as the “Blue Train,” reached Calais. The release goes so far as to state that he made it by a scant four minutes, cutting it close but fulfilling his word and winning the wager. It was one of the early pieces of lore that elevated Bentley’s cars to the level of legend, and today, Bentley is commemorating that step in history with the introduction of the Mulsanne Speed “Blue Train” by Mulliner.
The bespoke coachbuilding division of Bentley, Mulliner, is known for its exquisite touch of beauty in every design created, and the “Blue Train” Mulsanne Speed is no exception. Design details from the Speed Six are included in every subtle way, including a fluting pattern on the door panels and rear quarter inserts that are modeled after the interior in Barnato’s car.
The Mulsanne Speed “Blue Train” will be on display at the Techno-Classica Show in Germany from April 15-19. If you can make it, be sure to swing by and give it a look through, but if you won’t be able to see it in person, take a moment to browse our exclusive listings of Mulsannes at the button below.
(Source: Bentley Motors)