Bentley to build 12 Le Mans 'Blower' continuation cars

Bentley is to build 12 continuations of the 1929 supercharged 4.5-litre 'Blower' that competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours, making it the first pre-war race car to reenter production

Bentley to build 12 Le Mans 'Blower' continuation cars

The car's designer Henry Birkin won Le Mans in 1929 with a Speed Six, but sought to extract more power from a lighter model through the addition of forced induction.

Although company founder Walter Owen Bentley did not support the project, 50 supercharged cars were built to comply with Le Mans entry regulations, and four were developed into prototype specification.

Bentley will digitally scan chassis HB 4303 and use the original molds to build the new cars, "with only minimal hidden changes dictated by modern safety concerns".

Announced at Blenheim Palace's Salon Prive Concours d'Elegance, Bentley chairman and chief executive Adrian Hallmark said: "As we continue to commemorate 100 years of Bentley, we are combining a look to our past with the very latest digital technologies and techniques 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.

"The 12 new Blowers will not only be an homage to our heritage, they will be a celebration of the outstanding skills of our Mulliner craftspeople."

A limited build run represents the 12 races that the original four cars competed in, and the project is expected to take two years.

Prices have not been publically revealed.

It also marks Bentley's first full continuation series, following fellow British marques Jaguar and Aston Martin.

In 2014 Jaguar revealed the first of six new Lightweight E-types to complete the originally intended 18-car production run from 1963 and '64.

It has since replicated the process for the D-type sportscar and XKSS.

Aston Martin's line-up of continuation models include the DB4 GT and DB4 GT Zagato race cars, and has announced a series for 'Goldfinger' specification DB5s.

shares
comments
Rare Le Mans BMW V12 LM to make racing return at Paul Ricard

Previous article

Rare Le Mans BMW V12 LM to make racing return at Paul Ricard

Next article

Peter Auto reveals 2020 historics calendar, Le Mans Classic date

Peter Auto reveals 2020 historics calendar, Le Mans Classic date
Load comments
Eight reasons to watch the Silverstone Classic Plus

Eight reasons to watch the Silverstone Classic

The Classic was one of the many major events lost to the pandemic in 2020, but it’s now set to be back in style this weekend as it celebrates the 20th edition of retro-themed fun

Historics
Jul 29, 2021
How a flawed ‘throwback’ series gained acceptance Plus

How a flawed ‘throwback’ series gained acceptance

Against all odds, the series for V12-powered Superleague Formula cars adorning the liveries of football clubs earned a place in the hearts of many. Even 10 years on from its last race, on this day in 2011, it is fondly remembered by those who were part of it

Historics
Jul 17, 2021
The one-off backmarker brought back to life after half a century Plus

The one-off backmarker brought back to life after half a century

The unique McKee-Chevrolet Mahrya achieved very limited success in period. But over half a century after it was shuttered, it has completed a 17-year restoration and is once again turning heads on the track

Historics
Jul 16, 2021
The painstaking process behind reviving Solberg's Subaru WRC steed Plus

The painstaking process behind reviving Solberg's Subaru WRC steed

With attention to detail the first concern, Prodrive’s new Legends department has completed its first restoration project on Petter Solberg's 2004 Rally Japan winner – and is busily gearing up for more

Historics
May 13, 2021
The unusual racing journey forged by a youthful historics ace Plus

The unusual racing journey forged by a youthful historics ace

Two championships and two class titles in four seasons mark historics ace Benn Tilley as a special talent. Here’s how the Lincolnshire racer progressed from Junior Saloons to become Autosport’s top club driver of 2020

Historics
Apr 5, 2021
How the Marshall club racing dynasty remains intact Plus

How the Marshall club racing dynasty remains intact

As the son of club racing legend Gerry, Gregor Marshall has racing in his blood. Although his ambitions are modest, his determination to get his Vauxhall Firenza on the grid at the 2020 Goodwood SpeedWeek tells of a driver who relishes a challenge

Historics
Mar 4, 2021
The resurrection of a famous Le Mans shape Plus

The resurrection of a famous Le Mans shape

Seemingly lost forever, the Bristol 450 coupe design is racing again thanks to one of historic racing's feel-good projects

Historics
Oct 6, 2020
The indie rocker's renaissance in historic touring cars Plus

The indie rocker's renaissance in historic touring cars

Camaros, Capris and Rover SD1s have hogged the stage as Group 1 touring cars returned to popularity. But there are alternative ways to race, and some eclectic machinery can be found if you look closely

Historics
Apr 7, 2020