Bentley trainees restore engine from the 1920s

Posted on 10 Nov 2019 and read 594 times
Bentley trainees restore engine from the 1920sApprentices at Crewe-based Bentley Motors have restored a historic engine as part of the company’s centenary year celebrations. Engine No 212 was built in 1923 — just four years after founder WO Bentley established the luxury-car brand (

The apprentices spent 700hr working on the 3.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which was stripped down to individual components.

After being re-assembled, the engine was mounted on a purpose-built base for an exhibition at the company’s Crewe headquarters.

Amy Denton, an advanced paint apprentice, said: “Everybody involved in the restoration felt privileged to have the opportunity to work with such an important piece of history.

“It allowed us to develop new skills and techniques which will help in our future careers.”

Little is known about the early history of engine No 212.

It was originally paired with chassis 209 and then passed to an unknown coach-builder, who added the bodywork.

The car would have been driven during the late 1920s, when Bentley was enjoying success at Le Mans.

Eventually, the engine went to the Royal Artillery Corps School in Dorset, where it was used from 1935 onwards as a training aid to teach students about the internal combustion engine.

In 2011, it was offered back to Bentley; it then sat in safe storage until last year, when it was decided that No 212 should feature in Bentley’s centenary celebrations.

The engine was restored to the colours used by the Royal Artillery Corps School, in recognition of that part of its history.

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