Bentley had announced that it will be building a continuation series of 12 cars to follow the 1929 Blower Bentleys. The most famous of these cars was raced by Tim Birkins in the 1930 Le Mans. As a part of the construction process, the company has announced that a digital replica of the car is now ready in AutoCad. This will now be used to manufacture the various parts for assembling the 12 continuation series cars.
In 1929, Bentley has built a series of four 4-1/2 litre four cylinder sixteen valve supercharged cars for racing. The most famous of these was team car No 2 with registration number UU 5872 which was driven by Tim Birkins. In 1930, this car played a pivotal role in the factory Bentley Speed Six victory at Le Mans. This same car, with Chassis number HB 3403 along with original 1920s moulds and tooling jigs, and an array of traditional hand tools is being used to develop the new continuation series cars.
The UU 5872 has been dismantled and has been scanned using lasers as well as meticulously hand measured. All the 630 components and 70 assemblies have been measured and scanned and converted into around 2GB of AutoCad data over a period of 1,200 manhours. These same drawings will now be used to manufacture the various parts and systems which will go into the continuation series cars. Thus ensuring, that these cars are original continuation of the four car series and not replicas. Now that the measurement has been completed, the 90 year old veteran, will be assembled by the Bentley Mulliner Classic team. During the assembly, the team will also undertake sympathetic restoration as required. The 90 year old lady is still in use and still participates in races like the Mille Miglia and hill runs during the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
As continuations of the original Team Blower, each of the new Continuation Series cars will feature four-cylinder, 16-valve engines with an aluminium crankcase with cast iron cylinder liners and non-detachable cast-iron cylinder head. The supercharger will be an exact replica of the Amherst Villiers Mk IV roots-type supercharger, helping the 4398 cc engine to develop 240 bhp @ 4,200 rpm. The car’s structure will be a pressed steel frame, with half-elliptic leaf spring suspension with copies of Bentley & Draper dampers. Recreations of Bentley-Perrot 40 cm (17.75”) mechanical drum brakes and worm and sector steering complete the chassis.
The AutoCad model will also be used by the 12 customers to customise the exterior paint and the interiors as per their choice. Though, beneath the bonnet the cars would be identical. All 12 cars have already been sold.