2017 Bamford X Bentley Mulliner Mulsanne Speed
It’s safe to say that Mulliner, Bentley’s in-house bespoke personalization division, has established a reputation for being a purveyor of some of the most unique Bentleys we’ve seen in a long time. That’s what happens when you’re responsible for building one-off to limited edition models for the British auto brand. You’re afforded the freedom to be creative with your work and as far as recent examples are concerned – the Mulsanne Sinjari Edition being one of them – that’s exactly what Mulliner has done. Now, it’s at it again with another creation: a one-off Mulsanne Speed built specifically for George Bamford, the man behind Bamford Watch Department, regarded by many as the U.K.’s premier bespoke timepiece personalization company.
The one-off Mulsanne is formally called the Bamford X Bentley Mulliner and if you’re sensitive to cars that have been turned upside their heads, you might want to look away for this one. But if you can take the proverbial heat, then feast your eyes on this enthralling work by Mulliner.
Like most of the bespoke division’s past works, the Bamford X Bentley Mulliner is more than just an expression of extreme personalization. There’s a story behind the work that Mulliner put into this Mulsanne to make it a true and legitimate one-off piece. Specific materials and methods were used to represent the identity of the BWD brand, and like a true craftsman whose name and reputation are worth the land he’s standing on, Mulliner went over and above it’s own capabilities to create a bespoke Mulsanne that’s unlikely to be replicated anytime soon.
“This is personalization. This is how you do personalization.” This is what George Bamford himself said when he saw the Bamford X Bentley Mulliner.
Wiser words have never been spoken.
What Makes The Bentley & Bamford Mulliner Mulsanne Speed Special
The short answer, of course, is everything. Every personalized detail in the Bamford X Bentley Mulsanne is special in its own unique way.
The longer answer is a bit more complicated because we’re going to have to peer through every personalized application Mulliner put into the Mulsanne Speed to turn into…this.
Before we dive deep into this exotic creation, it’s important to remember that Mulliner’s work was inspired by BWD and the latter’s signature style. That’s evident from the get-go as the luxury sedan’s body was dressed up to pay homage to BWD’s famous “black-on-black” color scheme.
The color itself though isn’t really the story here. The highlight is the process Mulliner undertook to get the “black” to where it replicated BWD’s own visual language. Since the watchmaker uses process like Military Grade Titanium Coating (MGTC) and Graphite Particle Coating (GPC) to get its signature black finish, Mulliner took matters into its own hands by using a different process called Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) to darken sections of the Mulsanne that were normally polished in a stainless steel finish. From the ”Speed” wing vents to the badges on the hoof and trunk to Bentley’s matrix grille, each of these surfaces were subjected to the PVD process to create the kind of black finish that matches that from BWD’s own watches. Add these blacked out “Darkware” finishes with the Beluga Black exterior paint that Mulliner specifically chose for this one-off and you get a startlingly accurate depiction of BWD’s famed color scheme. Notice that even the set of 21-inch Mulliner wheels come in black. That’s not an accident.
Move to the cabin of the Bamford X Bentley Mulliner and the upgrades again reflect the identity of BWD, right down to the splashes of Aqua Blue that’s another common characteristic of BWD’s watches. In fact, the flash of Aqua Blue in the Mulsanne’s interior is a little overwhelming in that they’re pretty much everywhere. The front armrest compartment has BWD’s signature blue color, as does the iPod drawer, glovebox, and all of the contrast stitching and piping inside the cabin. Plenty of other unique details can be found in the interior, including the Alcantara center panels on the seats, a distinct styling feature that Mulliner rarely allows its customers to have. But Mulliner acquiesced to George Bamford, just as it did to the British Royal Family, the only other Bentleycustomer that was afforded this concession.
Striking colors and well-dressed center panels aside, the Bamford X Bentley Mulliner’s cabin is also defined by one peculiar feature: a carbon fiber watch holder that appears to be located in the back seat compartment of the luxury sedan. The purpose of the watch holder is obvious, but Mulliner made sure that it not only looked good, but was also light enough to not any more weight to a car that already weighs almost 6,000 pounds. If for nothing else, the carbon fiber watch holder makes for an ideal storage solution in the event George Bamford need a place to stow his bread-and-butter products.
About the only thing that remains stock on the Bamford X Bentley Mulliner is the luxury sedan’s 6.75-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine. No modifications were given to the engine so Bamford can still expect to get 537 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque out of it. Not that those numbers are boring since they’re still capable of propelling the Mulsanne from a standstill position to 62 mph in just 4.9 seconds before peaking at a top speed of 190 mph.
As unique as the Bamford X Bentley Mulliner – and it is unique in every sense of the word – it’s par for the course for Mulliner. Remember, this is the same bespoke personalization division that gave us the aforementioned Mulsanne Sinjari Edition and its 23.9-karat gold plated “Flying B” hood ornament. It’s also the same program that gave birth to the GQ Korea Flying Spur that was designed specifically by Korean designer Sang Yup Lee.
Note: Side-by-side picture of the Mulsanne Sinjari Edition and the GQ Korea Flying Spur.
The luxury segment of the auto industry is inundated with personalization divisions from a lot of automakers. Mulliner counts itself as one of these divisions and yet, as common as these bespoke personalized programs are, Bentley’s in-house team has found a way to once again stand out from the crowd.
Just ask George Bamford.