Bentley and Ferrari normally compete for the attention and money of well-heeled car enthusiasts. The luxury firms are now going after bibliophiles with strong biceps. Bentley announced the release of a gargantuan, limited-edition book that celebrates its 100th anniversary by diving into the past, examining the present, and exploring the future.
Opus, the book’s publisher, notes it received unprecedented access to top-level Bentley engineers, designers, and decision-makers in order to tell the brand’s story in the most thorough and accurate way. The book consequently highlights the part of Bentley’s history many enthusiasts already know, like Woolf Barnato’s three Le Mans victories, while digging deeper into some of the more obscure facets of its past. Over half of the photos in the book have never been seen before, according to the company’s archives department.
Bentley makes some of the heaviest cars on the market; the Mulsanne weighs nearly 6,000 pounds in its most basic configuration and the Flying Spur tips the scale at about 5,500 pounds with a W12 engine. Now, the British firm makes one of the heaviest books, too. Condensing 100 years of history into a paperback was too complicated of a task for Opus, and the format didn’t do the brand sufficient justice. This no-holds-barred approach to storytelling culminated in a book that weighs 66 pounds in its heaviest configuration. Plan ahead if you want one; it could knock down your book case.
While Bentley mostly builds mono-spec models, its book will be available in what can be accurately described as three trim levels. The Mulliner and Centenary variants will be limited-edition books with pages that measure up to seven square inches. Some of the foldouts stretch 78 inches wide, a figure that makes them almost exactly as wide as a Bentayga (pictured). Bentley will also offer a smaller, more affordable edition named Crewe, which is named after the British town where Bentley’s headquarters are located.
Customers can pre-order all three books today and deliveries will begin in early 2019. Bentley hasn’t announced pricing or revealed how many examples of the book it will print. We’ve reached out to the brand and Opus to get more details and we’ll update this story if we hear back. To add context, Ferrari’s intricately-designed collectible book costs up to $30,000.