Bentley Celebrates 100th Anniversary with Pricey Tome

Volkswagen AG’s Bentley unit is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a massive book that chronicle’s the ultra-luxury marque’s history and offers a peek of the future.  
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Volkswagen AG’s Bentley unit is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a massive book that chronicle’s the ultra-luxury marque’s history and offers a peek of the future.

Bentley boasts that the book is the largest dedicated to an automotive brand. It likely is the most expensive too, with pricing starting at £3,000 ($3,800) and topping out at more than £200,000 ($254,000)—which is $30,000 more than a new Continental GT.

The ostentatious 800-page tome, dubbed “The Bentley Centenary Opus,” measures 18 inches long and weighs a whopping 66 lbs with a clamshell case. Some special fold-out sections expand to about 78 inches.

In addition to eight chapters on Bentley’s history, the book includes a forward-looking final chapter written by CEO Adrian Hallmark. The introduction is penned by fashion icon Ralph Lauren.

The base edition, which is limited to 500 copies, is lined in the same leather used in Bentley cars and features the carmaker’s signature winged logo. Bentley owners will be able to pick the same hide color for the front cover that adorns their car. They also can have photos of their own cars inserted into the book, which is signed by design boss Stefan Sielaff.

Only 100 of the mid-level Mulliner Edition, which ups the price to £12,500 ($15,900), will be produced.

Extras include a collection of 20- by 24-inch Polaroid photos of 10 classic Bentleys and hand-painted watercolor drawings (above) of another 56 models. Rubber taken from the Speed 8 car that won the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race will be inlaid into the clamshell case.

The £200,000 100-Carat Edition lives up to its name with 100 carats of diamonds decorating the front cover. In addition, the Bentley badge is set in either white gold or platinum. Only seven of these books are planned.

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