The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance hosted a special unveiling this year. It was a car so special that it took main stage—which is usually reserved for the actual winner of Concours d’Elegance. (This year the winner was a 1937 Horch 853 Voll & Ruhbeck Sport Cabriolet that remained parked in the grass with the other entries.) As Concours d’Elegance is literally translated to “competition of elegance” and is the most prestigious charitable automotive event of its kind, there was no better time or place for Bentley to reveal its newest car.
On August 16, Bentley CEO Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen unveiled the very first Bentley Mulsanne. It is the “pinnacle of British luxury motoring, offering the world’s most exclusive driving experience,” stated Paefgen. However, Bentley didn’t stop there; immediately following the unveiling, the Mulsanne went up for sale. In conjunction with Gooding & Company, Bentley auctioned the Mulsanne, chassis 1, to the highest bidder. Despite the fact that all proceeds were going to Pebble Beach’s official charity—the Phil Hill Foundation—there were no offers at the starting bid of $500,000. The lack of eager buyers put the auction at a complete standstill, and the stall forced Bentley to lower the starting price. Once bidding on Mulsanne #1 opening bid was reset to $300,000, offers were made and the bids eventually accelerated back up to the $500,000 mark where the car sold to an anonymous phone bidder.
Production of the Muslanne will begin early next year with a release date set for mid-2010, but official pricing has not yet been announced.