Bentley announces it will build 12 iconic Blowers in celebration of the brand 100-year anniversary
Bentley chairman announced the historic project at Salon Privé Concours d'Elegance
When an automotive brand has created what is still acknowledged to be the finest GT car in the world, sumptuous limousines that are capable of whisking their passengers around in 200mph comfort, and finds itself turning 100-years-young, it may find itself asking: what's next? For historic car manufacturer Bentley Motors, the answer is to look to the past.
We have all heard of the Bentley Boys’ historic achievements at Le Mans and other circuits around Europe in the 1920s-1930s. In fact, Tempus was lucky enough to photograph of one of the original cars for our exclusive Speed Edition cover earlier this year – made even more special given that it was one of only two of the original four racing Blowers built by Sir Tim Birkin with the Roots-type supercharger.
But now, having sold all of the 100 Blower-inspired Continental GT Number 9 Edition Cars, Bentley chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark announced at Salon Privé Concours d'Elegance on 8 September that the company will be manufacturing 12 'continuation' cars – one for every race the original Team Blowers entered.
"The 12 new Bentley Blowers will not only be an homage to our heritage, they will be a celebration of the outstanding skills of our Mulliner craftspeople," said Hallmark. "This is a new challenge for Bentley, but with the incredible success of the recent restoration of our 1939 one-of-one Corniche, we wanted to go one step further and make something even more special. 12 lucky customers will soon be able to own a unique tribute to Bentley’s history." >>
To make every car as close to the original racing Team Blowers, Bentley will provide a template by totally breaking down Birkin’s own Team Car No2, UU5872, chassis No HB 3403. Bentley's expert team will catalogue the parts and then 3D scan each one to create a digital model of the original car.
Bentley will then create 12 sets of the parts using original mouldings and the very latest digital technologies and techniques. Mulliner Coachbuilders based at Bentley’s Crewe HQ is expected to take two years to complete the 12 cars.
For those of a technical bent, the cars will be built on a pressed steel frame and fitted with leaf spring suspension using reproduced versions of the cars’ original dampers. Brakes will be 17.75inch (40cm) mechanical drums and the steering will use the same worm and sector affair in the original. The cars will be carried along to an eye watering top speed by a carburetted 4.4 lite, four-cylinder 16 valve engine with an aluminium crankcase, cast iron cylinder liners and a non-detachable cast iron cylinder head. The Roots-type supercharger will be an exact replica of the original and power will be a claimed 240bhp.
As for the price, Bentley has yet to speculate, but it is safe to say that this is a piece of history we are very much looking forward to seeing again!