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Bentley’s $250,000 book is the Bentley of books

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Bentley’s Centenary Opus “100 Carat Edition” is limited to seven copies, each decorated with 100 carats of diamonds and a gold or platinum border.
(Bentley)

If you have $250,000 burning a hole in the pocket of your probably hand-tailored slacks, you can buy a 2018 Bentley Continental GT in British racing green. Or you can buy a very limited edition book about the English luxury car manufacturer.

Bentley is marking its 100th anniversary with the publication of three books about its iconic cars, one of which will set you back a quarter of a million dollars.

That would be the “100 Carat Edition” of the book, one of three published by British press Opus. Only seven of those books, each decorated with 100 carats of diamonds and a gold or platinum border, will be printed.

Bentley fans on a budget might want to settle for one of the two less expensive versions of the book — the $16,000 “Mulliner Edition,” limited to 100 copies, or the $3,800 “Centenary Edition,” limited to 500. All of the books feature a foreword by American fashion designer (and car collector) Ralph Lauren.

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The volumes would be great coffee table books if you have a coffee table strong enough to hold them — each 780-page book weighs 66 pounds, and measures 18 inches by 18 inches.

Karl Fowler, the chief executive of Opus, told The Times that buyers of the books will be able to customize them.

“Owners can have the option to be actually in their edition — they can have their copy ‘tailor made’ to include photographs of themselves, such that they can have their very own chapter and be part of the 100-year Bentley celebrations,” he said. “It was a special element we wanted to include for people to hopefully make it a little more unique and personal to people.”

Owners can have the option to be actually in their edition — they can have their copy ‘tailor made’ to include photographs of themselves.
Karl Fowler, chief executive of Opus

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Purchasers will also get to choose the color of their books. The Centenary Edition comes with a choice of four colors, while buyers of the Mulliner Edition can select one of 17 Bentley leather colors.

The Mulliner Edition also comes with a bit of racing history. Included in those books will be a piece of rubber taken from the tire of the Bentley car that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 2003.

Buyers of the Mulliner Edition will also be invited to go on a private VIP tour of the Bentley factory in Crewe, England, and stay at the Cafe Royal Hotel in London, Fowler told The Times.

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The Centenary Edition comes with a choice of four colors, while buyers of the Mulliner Edition can select one of 17 Bentley leather colors.
(Bentley)

Fowler said that Opus has already taken orders for the elaborate books.

“We had a customer only last week who has pre-ordered her Bentley Opus as a gift for her husband, and she has sent us a small selection of photographs that we are creating the extra pages that will be hand-bound into the front section of the edition,” he said. “When her husband opens the copy, the first thing he will see will be photographs from their wedding day 40 years ago, including a wonderful photograph of them both leaving the church as a newly married couple in a stunning Bentley R Type.”

“For us, it’s kind of endearing, and humbling, that owners can be part of the Bentley history in this way,” he said. “It becomes quite emotive for people, I guess.”


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