[YesAuto Wonderful Car Life] Recently, the Bentley brand headquartered in Crewe, UK announced that it will reproduce 12 4½-liter supercharged Bentley “Blower” models in the next two years. The new car is based on the legendary Bentley racing car (chassis number No. HB 3404) built in 1929. The car was originally developed by Sir Tim Birkin commissioned by Bentley.
Regarding Bentley Blower, the iconic Bentley car of the pre-war era, I have to mention his creator Sir Henry Tim Birkin. The blue and white polka dot scarf and neatly trimmed beard are the iconic images of former fighter pilot Sir Birkin. Because of his obsession with speed and strict demands on the car, he became an out-and-out hero in British sports.
In 1927, Bentley developed a 4½-liter model, but the car did not perform well in the race. Therefore, the founder of the brand, Mr. WO Bentley, decided to replace it with the 6½-liter Bentley “Speed Six” with a larger engine displacement. However, Sir Tim Birkin proposed to use supercharger technology to enhance the competitiveness of 4½-liter models, but this idea was opposed by WO Bentley.
Although WO Bentley believed that the supercharger system “deviated from the design concept of this engine and would destroy its performance”, Sir Birkin managed to persuade the then Bentley chairman, Mr. Wolf Barnato, to approve the project. In 1929, Bentley's 4½-liter supercharged model Blower was manufactured. Thanks to the installation of a supercharger, the engine power has been increased from 110 horsepower to 175 horsepower.
In order to form the Bentley Blower Racing Team, Sir Birkin found the wealthy Dorothy Paget, who is the heir to the rich and the most prestigious horse racing owner in the UK. Without this sponsorship, Bentley Blower may never be written into the history of racing legends. The top match between Sir Birkin and Rudolph Carassiola was the most talked-about story at the 1930 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Like many legends, there is no way to distinguish the dramatic part from the real facts. That year, Sir Birkin drove a Bentley Blower and raced with three other Bentley Speed Six. Sir Birkin and Carassiola driving the Mercedes-Benz SSK were indistinguishable from the beginning. Unfortunately, both cars had an accident and failed to reach the finish line, leaving the opportunity to teammate.
Sir Birkin's other Bentley Blower, in order to conquer the Brookland circuit, was specially modified into a single-seater car with a streamlined radiator. The modified engine has a maximum power of 240 horsepower. In March 1932, Sir Birkin drove this chariot to break the lap speed record of Brookland Circuit at 137.96 mph.
As the “most respected heritage car” in the brand's history, Bentley Blower initially produced only 4 vehicles and participated in 12 races, and 12 happened to be the number of this reissue. The new car is built by the Bentley Mulliner custom studio and will be as close as possible to the original car, but today's safety regulations will force Bentley to make some changes.