The famous Bentley Blower returns to the track
identify Bentley Blower as an epic classic racing machine is an understatement. And now, a modern example of the Blower – called the Car Zero – has been built by hand, a replica of the 4½ liter turbocharged car of 1929, and it will race again.
The indomitable Blower, named after the Roots-type supercharger (built by Amherst Villiers) bolted to the front of the magnesium crankcase, has been revived and will compete at the Circuit de la Sarthe – translated: Le Mans — in June, as well as at Donington Park in the UK and at Spa in Belgium later this year. The car ran a six-hour full-speed test at the historic race Good wood south track of London to test its competitive readiness.
According to a history published in auto-evolution, the car wasn’t very reliable at first — it didn’t win any of the 12 races it entered — and was extremely underperforming. The story goes: “At maximum, the Air Blower will burn four liters (1.1 gallons) of fuel per minute. “But its speed is the astonishing action of the small supercharged engine and four-speed asynchronous transmission. “
Several so-called Series Blowers continue to be commissioned and have been or will be built to sell to customers. All have been sold, with some modifications for modern safety, including rain lights and fire extinguishers.
auto blog collaborator Andrew English drove the $2 million Car Zero, and it’s a hell of a story. A photo gallery of his exploits appears below.
About three years ago, Bentley began the process of rebuilding a replica of the original Blower by laser scanning all of its parts. Engineers spent about 40,000 hours on the project, using original drawings and blueprints to create “high-fidelity replicas” of the original parts.
The interior is also not overlooked. Bentley used 22 pounds of horsehair to stuff the seats, the frame is made from ash and upholstered in red leather. After all, it’s still a Bentley.