Bentley Mulliner made a return to coachbuilding with the bespoke Bacalar, a top-of-the-line convertible with distinctive styling and a production run of just 12 units, all of which were sold out almost instantly, and the owners were long-time Bentley customers already. One of those Bacalar went to Kenn Ricci, an aviation entrepreneur with a private aviation company, Flexjet who has been buying Bentley cars for more than a decade, several of them a bespoke build already, with a Bacalar in stunning Julep as the culmination.
Mr. Ricci has now worked together with members of Mulliner’s in-house design team on ‘The Bacalar Project’, creating two new aircraft inspired by one of the rarest two-door Bentleys of the modern era, his own Bentley Bacalar, taking the attention to detail seen on these 12 highly individualized Bacalar being carefully handcrafted by Mulliner’s team of artisans in Crewe, Mr. Ricci took that same level of attention to detail and exceptional design to Flexjet’s new Gulfstream G650 private jet and a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter, both highly bespoke to reflect the unique specification of the Bacalar.
With a very special Julep exterior on his personal Bacalar the interior of the copperhead shape and basket weave stitching on the Linen and Beluga leather-trimmed seats of Mr. Ricci’s coachbuilt Bacalar was used as the inspiration for the custom seats in both the Gulfstream G650 and the Sikorsky S-76 while 5,000-year-old reclaimed river wood used for the handcrafted veneer found inside Bacalar inspired the matching wood veneer species used in both aircraft, add the satin Bacalar Bronze fittings and unique diamond-carved carpet for a completely bespoke aircraft interior.
While Mr Ricci’s car is given its finishing touches, the first and original Bacalar – the development car known as Car Zero – was on-hand to meet the Gulfstream G650 at Farnborough Airport yesterday, ahead of a flight to New York, while, the S-76 made its public debut at The Quail, part of Monterey Car Week, in August this year.
The personalization of the luxury aircraft was inspired by the specification of Mr. Ricci’s own Bacalar. Finished in rare Julep exterior paint, the car features customized tri-color 22” wheels in dark grey satin with polished faces and Arctica highlights, providing a monotone contrast to the vibrant exterior. The centers of the headlamps were color matched to the Satin Bronze exterior brightware that can be seen on the waistrails and edging the Satin Carbon rear deck. The bonnet vents provide a visual accent, also being finished in satin carbon fiber, as were the wing mirrors. Satin carbon fiber also gave additional definition to the ‘power humps’ behind the front seats, along with the side skirts and rear diffuser. Exhaust finishers with Satin Bronze outers and matte black inners complete the look of the rear of the car.
A white and black cabin with Bacalar bronze accents creates a striking contemporary interior theme. A dual veneer of open pore Riverwood over gloss black encapsulates the occupants, sweeping from one side of the cabin to the other, matching the exterior technical details harmoniously. Every panel and detail of the interior was specified to the customer’s choice, through careful combinations of leather and Alcantara in white, black, and bronze, gloss and satin metals in black, dark tint, and bright chrome finishes, and the usage of satin carbon fiber.
Bacalar bronze leather accentuates the form of the top roll, the center line in the steering wheel and the headrest surround. This continues with further stitching details to the rear of the seats within the oval perforated Beluga piping and hand cross-stitching along the door following the styling line around to the center console.
Uniquely designed details and features in the Bacalar’s cabin emphasize the coachbuilt character of the car, with an almost infinite number of ways for customers to express their personal taste and commission a unique interior. From the use of precious inlays, and unique finishes to the driver controls, to the 148,199 individual stitches needed to embroider the unique Bacalar quilt on each seat – the specification of every Bentley is a voyage of discovery, with even a ‘standard’ model being configurable in literally billions of ways.
The process of designing a Mulliner goes even further – with infinite combinations of materials, colors and finishes. The exquisite grand tourers that result are only bounded by the laws of the land and the imagination of the customer.