Crewe-based Bentley is to build the world’s first pre-war race car continuation series in the form of Sir Tim Birkin’s 1929 supercharged 4½-litre “Blower” — one of its most iconic historic cars.
The company has announced that it will produce 12 matching cars, each individually handcrafted by a team of specialists from the company’s bespoking and coachwork division, Mulliner.
Only four original ‘Team Blowers’ were built in the late 1920s to be raced by Sir Birkin.
All were campaigned on the racetracks of Europe, with the most famous car – Team Car No. 2, registration UU 5872 – racing at Le Mans and playing a pivotal role in the factory Bentley Speed Six victory in 1930.
Now, using a combination of generations of craft skills and the latest digital technology, the 1929 Team Blower will be the master example for 12 continuations — one for each race that the original fleet of four Team Blowers competed in.
The Bentley Blower Continuation Series was announced at the Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance earlier this month by Bentley’s chairman and chief executive, Adrian Hallmark.
He said: “As we continue to commemorate 100 years of Bentley, we are combining a look to our past with the latest digital technologies to create something truly extraordinary.
“The four Team Blowers are the most valuable Bentleys in the world, and we know there is demand for genuine recreations that can be used, enjoyed and loved without risk to the prized originals.”
Bentley’s own Team Blower — chassis number HB 3403 — will be disassembled to its individual components, before each part is catalogued and meticulously scanned in 3-D to create a complete digital model of the entire car.
Using the original 1920s moulds and tooling jigs, plus an array of traditional hand tools alongside the latest manufacturing technology, 12 sets of parts will then be created, before Bentley’s skilled heritage technicians assemble the new Blowers.