The very first Bentley Mulsanne ever produced went up for auction over the weekend. The 2011 Bentley Mulsanne “Chassis Number One” was sold at the Gooding and Company auction at Pebble Beach for $550,000 to a mystery buyer. We’re guessing Jay Leno, maybe?
Bentley sold the 2011 Mulsanne #1 to the highest bidder, with proceeds going to Pebble Beach’s official charity, the Phil Hill Foundation. Bentley CEO Franz-Josef Paefgen and Bentley Heritage Collection chief Richard Charlesworth were on hand to participate from the stage, and prefaced the auction with a presentation of company founder W.O. Bentley’s personal vehicle, the 1920’s-era 8-liter Bentley. After failing to generate bids at $500,000, bidding on Mulsanne #1 started at $300,000 and climbed back up to the half-million mark, where it sold for $550,000 to an undisclosed bidder.
Bentley spokesman David Reuter told Inside Line on Tuesday that “I’m not certain who the final purchaser was.”
“In terms of spec, we’ll be learning more about that in the near term,” Reuter told Inside Line in an e-mail when asked what color and features the mystery buyer has requested for Chassis Number One or VIN00001. “Details on spec will be determined by the buyer.”
Bentley said in a statement that the first production car will be “built to standard U.K., European or Middle Eastern market specification. However, should the client’s preference be for a U.S.-specification motorcar, he or she will receive the very first example of the model destined for the U.S. — and it will still carry the first chassis number, 00001.”
Here’s a bit of trivia for you. Where does the name come from? The name Mulsanne comes from the company’s founder W.O. Bentley’s crowning achievement in the 1930’s : the 8 liter.