Bentley is building a series of twelve 1929 “Blower” cars. Bentley considers the supercharged 4.5L Team Blower race car the company’s “most revered heritage car” ever. Bentley decided to make Sir Tim Birkin’s car again in a quantity of twelve. The Specialist Mulliner team will reverse-engineer some of the components. These twelve will form the world’s first pre-war race car continuation series.
Bentley has spent all of 2019 celebrating 100 years as a brand. Over the last few months, Bentley has released the third-generation Flying Spur, unveiled the EXP 100 GT autonomous electric concept, built a Continental GT convertible, won Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours, and re-created the 1939 Corniche sedan (with the help of Mulliner). Bentley is known as a fashion-forward company designing bespoke craft cars, but bringing these older editions back to life has been an exciting part of the celebration. With Mulliner successfully bringing the Corniche back to life, Bentley is confident they can do the same with the legendary Team Blower car.
Bentley is excited to design the world’s first continuation of a pre-war race car. The original production run didn’t even make it to a dozen units or even double digits. Only four Team Blowers were built for Birkin and his team to race in the late 1920s. The team raced the Blowers at Le Mans and all over Europe. The significance of building twelve now is it reflects the number of races the original cars competed in.
The project will be an extensive and detailed process starting with dissembling the Team Blower chassis No. HB 3404 all the way down to the nuts and bolts. The parts will be cataloged and 3D scanned to create a foundation for the new cars. Bentley will use original 1920s molds and tooling jigs with modern manufacturing methods to create twelve identical sets of parts. The new variants will be as close to the originals as possible with current safety regulations integrated for a few changes. The cars will have 16-valve four-cylinder engines with aluminum crank cases, cast-iron cylinder liners, and non-detachable cast-iron cylinder heads. The engines will produce 240 hp. The frame will be pressed steel, while the suspension will be half-elliptic leaf springs with Bentley & Draper Damper replicas.
Bentley estimates it will take Mulliner two years to complete the project and all twelve cars. When this is complete, Bentley will reassemble and restore the original Team Blower car. The original car still drives in several events, including the Mille Miglia, the Pebble Beach Concours, and the Goodwood Festival of Speed. These editions will be so exclusive that Bentley will require an application to buy them. At that time, Bentley will provide pricing to applicants.