Luxury marque, Bentley, has celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the Blue Train 'challenge' with the launch of an ultra-exclusive limited edition...
In today's environment when personal transport outpaces public, it seems almost laughable to race a car and train. But 75 years ago, that's just what happened, and what's more it was far from a foregone conclusion that the car would win.
The challenge was undertaken by aristocrat racer and Le Mans winner, Woolf Barnato. Barnato raced and to the world's amazement beat the famous Blue Train on its journey across France.
Now Bentley and its customising and performance division Mulliner are celebrating Barnato's achievement with a car based on the marque's flagship four-door saloon: the Arnage.
The Arnage Blue Train Series features a 450bhp version of Bentley's 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V8 coimbined with the chassis and suspension set-up of the Arnage R. Rolling on 19-inch seven-spoke alloys, the car features additional chrome highlights and serious quad exhaust outlets.
Front and rear bumpers are bespoke with stainless steel matrix mesh to the front bumper cooling ducts. In homage to the slatted bonnet of the original 'Blue Train' Bentley Speed Six, Bentley's design team has specified vertical slatted vents, painted in body colour, behind the trailing edge of the front wheel arches.
The Blue Train Arnage carries the black winged 'B' inside and out, as the distinguishing mark of the most powerful and performance-focused Bentleys. It also gets Blue Train badging on the front wing. A 'privacy' rear backlight may also be specified, another feature which echoes the coachwork of Barnato's 1930s coupe.
The interior is also modified. All instrument and dial faces are black, and the centre console features subtle Bentley Blue Train limited edition badging.
Bentley says just 30 Blue Train Arnages will be produced. As unless you've already got your order in you're too late -- all orders have already been filled.
October saw Blue Train Arnage #1 join the original 'Blue Train' Speed Six along with other historically significant Bentley cars in a 75th Anniversary tour from Cannes to London, following Barnato's original route.