Bentley will make 12 new versions of its famous 1929 4.5-litre supercharged Blower, in what it claims to be the first-ever continuation run of a pre-war race car.
Just four examples of the Blower were built by Sir Tim Birkin in the 1920s, all of which were used in endurance events, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. All four machines survive and are now the most valuable Bentleys in existence.
The 12 Blower Continuation Series models – one for each race that the original four chassis competed in – will be identical to the originals bare minor updates for safety. They will retain a pressed steel frame, leaf spring suspension and 400mm mechanical drum brakes, along with the original car’s supercharged four-cylinder 16-valve 4398cc engine, which makes 240bhp.
To make them, Bentley’s Mulliner division will disassemble its own Blower – chassis HB 3403 – to individual parts, before cataloguing and scanning each to crease a digital model.
Bentley’s engineers will then use 1920s moulds and tooling jigs to create 12 sets of parts based on that model, which will then be assembled into complete cars. The original Bentley, which continues to be used regularly in display events, will then be restored and rebuilt.
Bentley boss Adrian Hallmark said: “We know there's demand for genuine recreations that can be used, enjoyed and loved without risk to the prized originals.”
He added that the new Blowers would “not only be an homage to our heritage, they will [also] be a celebration of the outstanding skills of our Mulliner craftspeople.”
The project follows the recent Continental GT Number 9 Edition, a limited-run of Bentley’s new grand tourer featuring design nods to the Blowers.
Bentley says it will take around two years to complete the 12-car series. Prices haven't been announced.