“We’re not the taste police,” says the Bentley executive, explaining that there really are no limits to what its bespoke division – Mulliner – can produce.
Even amongst the rarefied air of Bentley buyers who naturally expect something special, Mulliner exists to ensure buyers can truly create a unique car to meet whatever their heart desires. But that’s only part of the Mulliner story, the department is responsible for building the brand’s special creations, such as the limited run Bacalar.
Paul Dickinson, Mulliner’s Head of Commercial, explains its role like this: “Mulliner exists to meet the desires of customers who wish to go above and beyond our mainstream models. We work hand-in-hand with clients all over the world to design and craft truly unique Bentleys that are bound only by imagination – from personal touches up to highly exclusive coachbuilt cars like the Bacalar and Blower Continuation Series.”
As they said at the start, defining what design is in good taste or not is not Bentley’s job. The only limitation for Mulliner is safety, so as long as a customer’s choice doesn’t interfere with the car’s homologated safety systems anything is fair game.
Bentley Mulliner offers an almost infinite variety of paint optionsThat means everything from body colour, interior leather, interior woods and metals, wheels and other accessories are all able to be customised to whatever the owner wants – and can afford.
To try and distil what Mulliner does into one of those headline grabbing numbers of possible colour and trim combinations is simply not possible. That’s because Mulliner has infinite possibilities as it’s able to colour-match any client’s favourite colour and turn it into a production-ready product.
Take its ‘Passion Pink’ colour, which is now part of the Mulliner portfolio of colours. It was originally a favourite shade of nail polish for a very important customer and Mulliner was able to sample it (thanks to an employee’s dedication to the job that involved getting his nails painted) and create a striking new hue for her latest Bentley.
Locally Australian Bentley customers have embraced Mulliner and what it has to offer. Bentley Brisbane & Gold Coast recently created its own line-up of Mulliner models to coincide with its sponsorship of the Sanctuary Cove boat show.
A quartet of Bentleys – including a Continental GT and Bentayga – were all given a nautical-themed customisation from Mulliner for the show – and were quickly snapped up by customers looking for something out-of-the-ordinary.
This level of personalisation has become de rigueur for modern luxury brands and it’s only getting more popular. In the past three years the headcount at the Mulliner department at Bentley headquarters in Crewe, England has nearly doubled from four to seven employees, with plans to expand further in the near-future.
And as they expand the team, you can expect the sheer variety of Bentleys you see on the road to only become more individual.