There can’t be many more recognisable classic cars in the world than the Blower Bentley; it represents the kind of heritage that precious few car manufacturers can lay claim to. Having not so long ago built Continuation Blowers, Bentley has now reimagined the 1929 4½-litre Supercharged in a way nobody expected - by making an 85 per cent scale version.
Officially known as the Blower Jnr, it’s the result of a collaboration between Bentley and The Little Car Company, the team responsible for similar Juniors like the Aston DB5 and Ferrari 250 TR. Described as ‘the most sophisticated city car ever built’, Blower Jnr will be the first road-legal car from The Little Car Company.
Like all previous Juniors, the Bentley is electric with the motor mounted across the rear axle and battery stashed in an undertray; with 21hp, it can cover 65 miles at up to 45mph. The city car thing isn’t a joke, then, especially as the Blower measures 3.7m long and 1.5m and can carry two people. It’s car-sized, no doubt - it’s just that the original Blower was massive. And now worth £25m.
Amazingly enough, it was that very vehicle - Team Car No. 2, which raced at Le Mans in 1930 and has been owned by Bentley since 2000 - that was used by TLCC to ensure every detail was right. That includes leather buckled straps for the hand-crafted aluminium bonnet, scaled-down, period correct friction dampers and a painted steel frame with an ‘authentic chassis specification’ attached. When the depth of field is right in some of these pictures, it really is only the numberplates that seem to separate them. As we’ve come to expect from TLCC, the Blower Jnr is a stunning homage.
Look closely, though, and you can see the crucial differences. What was the supercharger is now the charging port, while the fuel tank space has been repurposed to carry luggage in an optional weekend bag. The drive mode selector looks like the fuel pressure pump, offering Comfort, Bentley and Sport settings that gradually ramp up the power. The original ammeter clock now shows battery charge (and looks absolutely lovely). Park, Drive and Reverse are selected ‘via a lever that looks and feels like the ignition advance control from the original Blower’. There’s even a USB socket, and sat nav.
The Blower Jnr is shaping up to be quite a lot like those other TLCC Junior cars, then, with beautiful attention to detail and a jolly little driving experience to boot - except, of course, this is one that can be legitimately driven on the public road with actual real-life journeys in mind. Currently enjoying its 15 minutes of Monterey fame (where else?), the Blower Jnr should go into production in the second quarter of next year priced from around £90k, excluding VAT. There will be 99 First Editions produced, similar to this one, with Blower Green paint, hand-painted Union flags, unique badging and Dark Green Lustrana Hide inside, just like the Continuation cars. If you have one then you must have the other, right?
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