RE: Bentley plots first ever pre-war continuation car

RE: Bentley plots first ever pre-war continuation car

Sunday 8th September

Bentley plots first ever pre-war continuation car

Crewe has instructed Mulliner to recreate the 'Blower' Bentley in spectacular style



It's comforting to think that time moves a bit slower at Bentley. After all, who would want its craftsmen and women to feel rushed in the business of so much stitching and lacquering? Even in the technological blur of a modern car-building factory - which Crewe unequivocally is - it's nice to imagine the odd oasis where painstaking attention to detail trumps the need to have mind-boggling volume emerge from the production line every day.

It smacks of a romantic, bygone era of manufacturing, of course - and, to the right person, it's as persuasive as the smell of Spitfire cockpit. It is this rich seam of nostalgia which has been mercilessly exploited by Bentley's rivals down the road in Gaydon. Jaguar and Aston Martin, by virtue of their superior back catalogue, have mashed the 'continuation' pedal to the floor and produced the kind of ultra exclusive cars for which Crewe has no answer.

Until now that it. Because in a single swipe of mind-boggling fastidiousness, Bentley has opted to voyage into the unknown and attempt the world's first continuation of a pre-war race car. Following its announcement at the Salon Prive Concours d'Elegance, the firm will summon a dozen all-new examples of Sir Tim Birkin's 1929 supercharged 4 1/2-litre 'Blower' into existence, and then sell them for unimaginable (and unadvertised) sums down the road.


How far down the road? Oh miles. Years. Because not only is the concept itself as evocative as the poop deck on HMS Victory, but the process of actually getting from here to there is going to take the manufacturing equivalent of an ice age. Because the plan is not just to merrily build away, but rather to let Mulliner methodically disassemble Bentley's very own Blower, catalogue and 3D scan every individual part, and then recreate the car using the original moulds and jigs and traditional hand tools.

To slow down the passage of time even more - to roughly the kind of pace at which Seurat used to paint - Mulliner will also endeavour to inspect and sympathetically restore chassis number HB 3403 when it comes back to the job of reassembling it. It's a remarkable undertaking - especially from a carmaker who has previously seemed content to dip a toe in heritage waters rather than upturning the bathtub on its head.

There's more. Each of the Continuation Series examples will get a four-cylinder, 16-valve engine with an aluminium crankcase, cast-iron cylinder liners and a non-detachable cast-iron cylinder head, while the eponymous supercharger will be an exact replica of the Amherst Villiers Mk IV roots-type blower, helping the petrol motor produce 245hp at 4,200rpm. It will be mounted on a pressed steel frame, which features half-elliptic leaf spring suspension and Bentley & Draper dampers. Stopping is courtesy of 40cm Bentley-Perrot mechanical drum brakes. Short of Mulliner's staff wearing replicas of Biggles' sidearm to work, it's hard to imagine things being anymore sensitive to the period.


Inevitably though, there will be some allowances. Bentley concedes that the 'latest manufacturing technology' will intercede at some point (not least in the business of all that 3D scanning) and some unspecified 'hidden changes dictated by modern safety concerns' must also be permitted. Nevertheless, it's clear that the manufacturer is very serious about fulfilling the demand for 'genuine recreations that can be used, enjoyed and loved without risk to the prized originals'.

Or, as Adrian Hallmark, Bentley's CEO, said: "The twelve 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 be soon be able to own a unique tribute to Bentley's history."


Search for a pre war Bentley here


Author
Discussion

SmartVenom

Original Poster:

412 posts

114 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Many would argue a lot of the genuine bentleys are continuation cars really.

Billy_Whizzzz

1,166 posts

88 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Is this another one that you can’t actually use on the road?

Venturist

2,745 posts

140 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Billy_Whizzzz said:
Is this another one that you can’t actually use on the road?
I can’t see that it’d pass an IVA!

Equus

6,655 posts

46 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
So Tim Birkin gets the last laugh... and W.O. must be spinning in his grave at well above the RPM redline of any engine he ever built?

Pothole

27,366 posts

227 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Billy_Whizzzz said:
Is this another one that you can’t actually use on the road?
Are you another PHer who can't actually be bothered to read the whole article?

said article said:
Bentley concedes that the 'latest manufacturing technology' will intercede at some point (not least in the business of all that 3D scanning) and some unspecified 'hidden changes dictated by modern safety concerns' must also be permitted. Nevertheless, it's clear that the manufacturer is very serious about fulfilling the demand for 'genuine recreations that can be used, enjoyed and loved without risk to the prized originals'.
HTH

Venturist

2,745 posts

140 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Pothole said:
Billy_Whizzzz said:
Is this another one that you can’t actually use on the road?
Are you another PHer who can't actually be bothered to read the whole article?

said article said:
Bentley concedes that the 'latest manufacturing technology' will intercede at some point (not least in the business of all that 3D scanning) and some unspecified 'hidden changes dictated by modern safety concerns' must also be permitted. Nevertheless, it's clear that the manufacturer is very serious about fulfilling the demand for 'genuine recreations that can be used, enjoyed and loved without risk to the prized originals'.
HTH
That doesn’t answer his question. Bentley may consider “can be used, enjoyed and loved” to apply to non road legal cars.

threespires

3,263 posts

156 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Venturist said:
That doesn’t answer his question. Bentley may consider “can be used, enjoyed and loved” to apply to non road legal cars.
Agree. Can it be legally driven on the road?

bloomen

2,731 posts

104 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
threespires said:
Agree. Can it be legally driven on the road?
None of them have managed it so far so I'll guess it's a no.

I presume buyers will simply stick the plate of their original on it and hope they don't get pulled.

Billy_Whizzzz

1,166 posts

88 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Pothole said:
Billy_Whizzzz said:
Is this another one that you can’t actually use on the road?
Are you another PHer who can't actually be bothered to read the whole article?

said article said:
Bentley concedes that the 'latest manufacturing technology' will intercede at some point (not least in the business of all that 3D scanning) and some unspecified 'hidden changes dictated by modern safety concerns' must also be permitted. Nevertheless, it's clear that the manufacturer is very serious about fulfilling the demand for 'genuine recreations that can be used, enjoyed and loved without risk to the prized originals'.
HTH
Umm not really. Doesn’t say if it can be driven on the road and yes, I did read the piece, thanks.

Max_Torque

13,984 posts

162 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all


&





Nerdherder

1,288 posts

42 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all

The Cackett writing algorithm seems to be broken again as it produces a hardly readable dense word soup.

P.s. Love the continuation cars, all of them.

Hairymonster

467 posts

50 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
If these cars are using mechanical drum brakes, the equivalent of the driver dragging his foot along the road in an attempt to slow the thing down, I doubt they'd be certified for road use.

I bet these will be the wrong side of £2 mill and the Sultan of Brunei has already ordered 3 of them.

I can't wait for the Mansory blower Bentley, or the blower Bentley with Kahn't alloy wheels on it.

Edited by Hairymonster on Sunday 8th September 19:12

virgilio

133 posts

90 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
the very fact that, of all their entire back catalogue, they chose to “continuate” the Blower just shows the ignorance of today’s Bentley managers and customers alike. Sad.

Unsorted

148 posts

7 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
virgilio said:
the very fact that, of all their entire back catalogue, they chose to “continuate” the Blower just shows the ignorance of today’s Bentley managers and customers alike. Sad.
Correct. A read of Walter Hassan's book Climax in Coventry would confirm as well us much other material probably.

Astacus

2,684 posts

179 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
not sure about that really. A continuation Blue Train Special, for example couldn't be used on the road and would have to sit around in a collection gathering dust or going for brief blips around the estate, whilst a blower can at least be raced.

ntiz

875 posts

81 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Hairymonster said:
If these cars are using mechanical drum brakes, the equivalent of the driver dragging his foot along the road in an attempt to slow the thing down, I doubt they'd be certified for road use.


Edited by Hairymonster on Sunday 8th September 19:12
The brakes really aren’t that bad. But yes can’t see them getting through any modern standard.

I don’t see why they need to take the old car apart though. You can buy all new parts for these cars. Last time I was at NDR there were 2 brand new blowers you could buy off the shelf to put on your car.

Seems like BS to justify a massive price. You could convert my car to this spec for about 200k. Plus there are no mileages for these cars not being used to protect value is not a problem for vintage Bentleys. Hence why so many of them get driven all over the world.

The chap who works on my car just got back from a 2 week tour around the States ending at Pebble Beach. Owners aren’t precious about them.

skylarking808

256 posts

31 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Just want to say I would love to have a go at driving one.

Must be a challenge and a hoot!

A bit more safety is always a good idea, although some originals still travel the world/race? without modernisation.

samoht

959 posts

91 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
bloomen said:
None of them have managed it so far so I'll guess it's a no.

I presume buyers will simply stick the plate of their original on it and hope they don't get pulled.
Even if they were pulled over, it's unlikely any police officer is going to be able to pick them up on it. As long as they're not stupid enough to drive both cars in convoy on the same plates (!) ... any differences from the originals won't be anything visible to a policeman, unless they're a Bentley historian in their spare time.

CS Garth

2,013 posts

50 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Crumbs. Tough crowd in tonight. They sound pretty good to me.

dinkel

24,989 posts

203 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
In the meantime: