Bentley to Celebrate Centenary with 66-Pound Book

For only the biggest (and presumably strongest) Bentley fans out there.

byJames Gilboy|

Bentley announced Wednesday that it will commemorate its 100th anniversary in 2019 with a photo book named "Bentley Centenary Opus," featuring blown-up archive photography from the automaker's history, much of it never before seen by the public.

The book was put together by Bentley and publisher Opus, which has produced similar works about Ferrari, Major League Baseball, and Nelson Mandela. Bentley's own Opus will come in at 30 kilograms (66 pounds) and feature vast "gatefold" centerfolds that expand to 200 centimeters (79 inches) by 50 centimeters (20 inches). It will catalog Bentley's history from its earliest days when W.O. Bentley took inspiration from an aluminum paperweight and designed some of the first aluminum alloy pistons ever used in the automotive world.

Opus will publish three editions of the book: Crewe, Centenary, and Mulliner. Crewe will be a downsized, entry-level book with the lowest price tag and largest print run, while Centenary and Mulliner will be more costly, and of more strictly limited availability. Mulliner will be the most exclusive; a Bentley spokesperson told The Drive that Opus plans to print just 100.

Though prices have not yet been determined, the most expensive of Opus's books have in the past demanded up to £15,000 (almost $20,000 USD).

"Epic. Iconic. That is what Opus stands for and those words surely epitomize Bentley Motors and its incredible history," stated Opus co-founder Hari Ramachandran in the publisher's press release. "The vision and unrelenting attention to detail of W.O. Bentley can still be seen in the work of the dedicated and passionate members of Bentley Motors today. This passion is being harnessed to take Bentley Motors into their second century and we at Opus are thrilled and deeply honored to be able to tell this unique story."

Ferrari has its own Opus, but also a volume still more extreme from publisher Taschen: $30,000 gets a one-of-250 "Art Edition" Ferrari coffee table book, complete with a display case designed to look like the valve covers of a Ferrari V12 engine. Expensive? Yes, but not as much so to those with the cash to collect Ferraris.