One of the most iconic cars from Bentley’s history – Sir Tim Birkin’s 1929 supercharged 4½-litre “Blower” – is to be reborn in a new series of 12 matching cars.
Each is individually handcrafted by a team from Bentley’s bespoke and coachwork division, Mulliner. Together, the new cars will form the world’s first pre-war race car continuation series.
Only four original ‘Team Blowers’ were built for racing by Birkin, in the late 1920s. All saw a fight to the finish on the racetracks of Europe, with the most famous car – Birkin’s own Team Car No. 2, racing at Le Mans and playing a pivotal role in the factory Bentley Speed Six victory in 1930.
Now, using the very latest digital technology, the 1929 Team Blower will be the master example for 12 continuations – one for each race that the original cars competed in.
The Bentley Blower Continuation Series was announced at Salon Privé by Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Adrian Hallmark, who 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. This is a new challenge for Bentley, but with the incredible success of the recent restoration of our 1939 one-of-one Corniche, we wanted to go one step further and make something even more special. Twelve lucky customers will soon be able to own a unique tribute to Bentley’s history.”
Recreating the Blowers
Bentley’s own Team Blower will be disassembled to its individual components, before each part is catalogued and meticulously scanned in 3D to create a complete digital model of the entire car. Using the original 1920s moulds and tooling jigs, and traditional hand tools alongside the latest manufacturing technology, 12 sets of parts will then be created, before assembly.
Bentley says that the 12 continuations will be identical wherever possible to the original – mechanically, aesthetically and spiritually – with only minimal hidden changes dictated by modern safety concerns. The original car will then be reassembled, with the heritage team taking the opportunity to complete a detailed inspection and sympathetic mechanical restoration where required.
It will take Mulliner approximately two years of meticulous work to complete the 12-car series. Prices are on application only.