By on May 16, 2019

Bentley’s celebrating its centenary this month, but rather than launch some dingus special edition, the automaker issued a promise that the all-new Flying Spur will redefine contemporary craftsmanship and luxury when it finally debuts. It’s also offering a limited run of extravagant books illustrating the brand’s history.

While the cheapest of these printed works will set you back £3,000 ($3,837), there will be a “100 Carat Edition” that costs £200,000 ($255,811) per copy. Weighing more than 66 pounds, the book comes laden with 100 carats of diamonds. At over 3 feet wide, and housing gatefolds that can double those dimensions, Bentley proudly proclaims the 800-page monstrosity as the “heaviest book ever produced” for an automotive brand. 

As if that wasn’t ridiculous enough, customers have the option to have their book customized in official Bentley leather — which can be matched to their own vehicle, if so desired. It even has a legitimate brand emblem on the front cover, regardless of whether or not you opt for the “cheap” version.

Bespoke touches don’t end there, however. Owners can have their own photographs included on certain pages of the book. The mid-tier Mulliner Edition, which costs £12,500 ($15,991), opens up the option to have those photographs professionally done by luxury publisher Opus for inclusion on their own editions, plus the ability to have owners’ names gilded in silver or gold on the cover. And, if that wasn’t enough, the book’s case even incorporates rubber from the front-left tire of the Speed 8 racing car that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003.

The 100 Carat Edition seems to offer all of that and more. “More” being the ability to set that Bentley logo on the cover in either white gold or platinum. Limited to just seven examples, the ultra-expensive tome will be rarer than most of the brand’s cars. Meanwhile, the more affordable Mulliner and Centenary publications will be produced in higher volumes, at 100 and 500 copies, respectively.

The automaker says the Bentley Centenary Opus “is much more than a coffee table book.” We’re inclined to agree. Its dimensions, heft, and ludicrous value make it far more suitable for a bank vault than any coffee table we’re familiar with.

Honestly, if it wasn’t for the price tag and size, the book would probably make an excellent addition to any automotive enthusiast’s bookshelf. It looks like a treasure trove of automotive history, incorporating loads of design sketches, high-resolution imagery, and insider information about Bentley’s past.

[Images: Bentley; Opus]

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29 Comments on “Bentley Marks 100th Anniversary With $256,000 Book...”

  • avatar

    Give me a F ing break.

  • avatar

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

  • avatar

    There isn’t enough eye-rolling in all the world to cover this piece of stupidity.

  • avatar

    As a member of the Rolls Royce Owner’s Club, I was offered the Mulliner edition for a discounted price of $14,400. Further savings if I pick it up at the Bentley centennial celebration in Troy, Michigan, in July.

    I can remember back in 2004 when the Pontiac dealer wanted $35 just for the sales brochure for the new GTO. Maybe if they had charged more, they’d still be around, like Bentley.

    • 0 avatar

      Wonder why that wouldn’t be held in Crewe, England?

    • 0 avatar

      What RR do you own?

    • 0 avatar

      “As a member of the Rolls Royce Owner’s Club, I was offered the Mulliner edition for a discounted price of $14,400”

      Did you buy it? I hope you did not miss such a once in a lifetime opportunity.

    • 0 avatar

      “As a member of the Rolls Royce Owner’s Club, I was offered the Mulliner edition for a discounted price”

      I feel like selling on price is really the wrong approach for this market.

      • 0 avatar

        Even rich people are greedy. Well you can drop “even”. Rich people are rich because they are greedy.

        • 0 avatar

          I sell products into a market that includes the guys who buy $13k coffee table books. None of them care about the price as long as they determine that the product is worth it.

          That’s not to say that there aren’t markets where the customers buy expensive stuff but still care about price – it’s just that the really high rollers who are the true target market for these cars mostly have a different perception of things. I’ve had guys spend a hundred grand on flights to come take a look at what I’m making; at that level even a $20,000 coffee table book is like one of us deciding whether to pick up a hardcover.

          Now, normal regular millionaires are a different thing. But they probably weren’t super interested in this in the first place.

  • avatar

    When does the paperback come out?

  • avatar

    Someone’s been peeking at my Christmas list, oh wait, that’s Jeff Bezo’s list

    Insert comment about too much money and too little sense

  • avatar

    What do you think – wouldn’t it look good in the bathroom next to the well-worn issues of Car and Driver and Time Magazine? New bathroom reading! Order me one!!!

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I was honest to God sitting on the can the other day reading Car and Driver. Based on the article I would prefer the 96 Thunderbird to the Monte Carlo. It was that or a 4 year old Jegs catalog.

  • avatar

    I’m sure they are celebrating in Crewe as well as Troy, Michigan. There are several tours planned if you’re going to be in England or Europe this summer, and can afford to hang out with rich people.

    • 0 avatar

      I am a big fan of touring plants. My first trip in 2011, which was an escorted coach tour of England and Wales, I had been speaking with Crewe folks to tour. But alas, the route and itinerary (pre Uber) made if impossible. Still want to go. Do you frequent Goodwood? Got hooked last year.

  • avatar

    I’ll wait for the Kindle version.

  • avatar

    What a great news! How to sign up? Do they take deposits? It will make Russian oligarchs and Saudi sheikhs happy.

  • avatar

    Maybe they can do another edition that Richard Branson can personally hand over as you fly on SpaceShipTwo. The unwashed Range Rover plebes in the back row will swoon with envy.

  • avatar

    For what it’s worth, an IKEA Billy bookshelf has a weight capacity of exactly 66 lbs, so this would fit on the shelf, though no with other books! Wonder if that was intended. If so very thoughtful.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I gotta be honest.

    I am 100% ok with the fact that I don’t hang out with dudes who think paying $260k for a book about Bentley’s is a good idea. We just don’t have much in common and I would spend too much time hazing them to have any real quality conversation.

  • avatar

    I got a tour of the Bentley plant last year. They normally don’t give tours, because they don’t want potential owners seeing all the VW parts that go into a Bentley, but because I was an owner, and I knew some people, I got the tour. Great tour.

  • avatar

    Let’s see what they’re going for on eBay in a few years.

  • avatar

    I don’t think I’ll find this in the New Arrivals section at my local library….

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