Bentley building brand-new Blowers
12 continuation cars, all pre-sold
Bentley has just built a brand new Blower. The return of the model that was last made 90 years ago for a select few well-heeled and soon to be well-blown customers able to pick up one of 12 continuation cars to be built and delivered following this one.
Car Zero, as Bentley Mulliner calls it, is the prototype for the automaker’s plan to bring back a car that built its reputation in the 1920s and 1930s. This is the first pre-war continuation car series, Bentley says, and the first new Bentley Blower built since 1930.
Bentley spent more than 40,000 hours to design and build Car Zero, starting with a 1929 4 1/2-litre supercharged Team Car raced by Sir Henry Birkin that belongs to the automaker already. The priceless car was disassembled and each part received a precise laser scanning. Combined with analysis of the original drawings and drafts for the cars, a complete CAD model was created.
Using that model, specialists including the 200 year old boiler making firm Israel Newton & Sons Ltd, the 75-years of spring expertise of Jones Spring, and The Vintage Car Radiator Company, worked to recreate every part needed to build the prototype and then 12 more cars.
Bentley says it took the recreation of 1,846 parts, but that number counts assemblies – like the entire engine – as one part. Meaning the true total is much higher. Pieces like the engine, an exact copy of new, was run in on a testbed that was installed at Bentley in 1938 and originally tested Merlin V12 engines for the war.
Durability testing on the car will include 35,000 km of real driving and simulate rallies like the Peking to Paris and Mille Miglia. They’ll also run the car up to top speed and said that CEO Adrian Hallmark is first in the queue for such a run.
The prototype made its debut today to celebrate an expansion of the Bentley campus in Crewe.