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Car and Driver: 2017 Bentley Mulsanne First Edition Boasts 350-Year-Old Walnut Trim


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2017 Bentley Mulsanne First Edition

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“I remember my first Mulsanne” might be something you hear in rarefied social circles, among people who might not only order a 2017 Bentley Mulsanne, but snag one of the 50 First Edition models kicking off this giant sedan’s second life.

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Now and again, most every automaker creates a zooted-up version of a car to celebrate the start of a model run. Just recently, Alfa Romeo did a launch special for the 4C, Mazda threw on glad rags for the latest MX-5 Miata, and Audi has one now for the 2017 A4. But none of these cars have wood trim from a 350-year-old walnut tree once perched on an English estate. When a storm knocked down England’s third-oldest tree in 2007, there was so much walnut (a reported 43 tons’ worth) that it later went up for sale, at which point the Bentley veneer staff raised their paddles at auction and paid an “undisclosed record price” to dress some extra-special cars. Fifteen Bentleys have already used the tree’s illustrious grain, including the Mulsanne 95 special edition sold in the U.K. two years ago. Now, whomever orders a Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase First Edition will get this same trim. Everyone else in the Mulsanne First Edition family must make do with less-special “antique ash.”

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2017 Bentley Mulsanne First Edition

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All the First Edition models, be they standard, Speed, or EWB, come with sterling-silver vanity kits recessed into the rightmost wooden picnic table. On all four seat backs and the two picnic tables are embroidered/etched “First Edition” graphics in the style of the Union Jack flag, plus a second door-sill plate and a hood ornament fixture displaying “First Edition.” EWB models get their powered rear window curtains in a unique “ivory” color. A bottle of champagne and the factory cooler must be ordered separately, but pricing is not being discussed at this point. If you miss these First Edition cars, fear not. Commissioning Bentley’s Mulliner division lets anyone create a one-of-one edition at any time of year, plus they’ll even let you sign the plaque. Do so, and you can talk about your first Mulsanne, too.

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