Bentley Debuts Iconic 4½-Litre Blower Continuation Model

Bentley Motors has another surprise in store for its centennial celebration. The quintessential British automaker will reissue one of its most iconic models, the 4½-litre Blower, in a new continuation series.

Bentley joins Jaguar, which is currently working on new D-types and E-types, with its continuation series. The automaker will launch a dozen recreations that will be assembled at the Mulliner personalization department in Crewe. The engineers, who will base the 2019 Bentley Blower on Sir Tim Birkin’s famous 4½-Litre Team Blower model, are expected to take apart the factory's own Team Blower and create a 3D scan of every component so that every part matches the original.

“The 12 continuations will be identical wherever possible to the original – mechanically, aesthetically and spiritually – with only minimal hidden changes dictated by modern safety concerns,” says Bentley.

The original Bentley 4½ litre was based on a rolling chassis built by Bentley Motors. Walter Owen Bentley replaced the Bentley 3 litre with a more powerful car by incrementing its engine displacement to 4.4 litres (270 cubic inches). Although Bentley buyers generally used their cars for personal transportation, other car manufacturers such as Bugatti and Lorraine-Dietrich were focused on creating cars to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, an endurance course that could make or break any car maker's reputation.

Bentley, which produced a total of 720 4½ litre cars between 1927 and 1931, including 55 cars with a supercharged engine known as the Blower Bentley, won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1928. The supercharged 4½ litre Bentley went on to set several speed records, including the Bentley Blower No.1 Monoposto in 1932 at Brooklands with a speed of 138 mph.

Bentley says the 4½-litre Blower will be “the world’s first pre-war race car continuation series” though it is not expected to be the last. There’s no official word on how much a new Bentley Blower will cost, however, prices are available on application. Given that it will take Mulliner two years to assemble the dozen cars, the price tag is likely going to be hefty. Original Bentley Blowers have been known to be sold for more than $8.64 million.

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Chairman and chief executive Adrian Hallmark said, “As we continue to commemorate 100 years of Bentley, we are combining a look to our past with the very latest digital technologies and techniques to create something truly extraordinary. The four Team Blowers are the most valuable Bentleys in the world, and we know there is demand for genuine recreations that can be used, enjoyed and loved without risk to the prized originals.”

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