‘New Blower’ on track from Bentley
Assembly of the first car in the ‘Blower Continuation Series’ has now begun in the Mulliner workshop of Bentley Motors. Officially known by the company as ‘Car Zero’, it is the engineering prototype for what will be a run of twelve handcrafted, supercharged 4Ѕ Litre Bentleys, built to the unique design of the 1929 team car developed and raced by Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin. The project forms the world’s first continuation series for a prewar models, and all twelve examples have been presold. First to arrive in the workshop was the chassis for the car – the backbone of the entire project. The fuel tank and radiator were next, as work was completed on the ash frame for the body. The first pair of headlights was delivered, while the mechanical aspects of the first car started to come together – including the very first engine (complete with remade Amherst Villiers supercharger), the front axle assembly and the leaf springs. The engineering team is currently working hard on assembling the running prototype in time for its unveiling ahead of a development programme later this year.
Following a piecebypiece disassembly of the exBirkin car and precise laser scanning of the frame and its components, new parts were ordered from a combination of fullydigital CAD data and the original 1920s engineering drawings and drafts. Tim Hannig of Bentley Mulliner commented: “After almost a year of highly detailed engineering work, it is extremely rewarding to see the first parts coming together to form the first Bentley Blower in over ninety years. The skill of our engineers and technicians in completing hundreds of individual part specifications is equalled only by that of the artisans across the country that have handmade the components that we’re now starting to bolt together. We’re all really excited to get this first car finished, and to show it to the world later this year.” Further components for ‘Car Zero’ will be completed and testfitted over the next few weeks, while the new engine and supercharger will be put through their paces on Bentley’s engine development test beds at Crewe. The finished ‘Car Zero’ is due to make its first public appearance in the autumn – once it’s been officially unveiled to the twelve customers of the unique project.