Pre-war cars aren’t really my jam, but even I think the Blower Bentleys are cool. They look great and give off a palpable presence only a huge Bentley can. The problem with pre-war cars like that is they are usually rare and difficult to come across. But Bentley is making 12 new versions of the 1929 Team Blower cars, which will take them from very, very rare to merely very rare.
The car in question is a supercharged, 4½-liter race car from 1929 called the Team Blower. Bentley only ever built four of these things, and they were all meant for racing. One of the cars even competed at Le Mans. They are, as Bentley claims, the most valuable Bentleys in the world.
To create the replicas, Bentley will disassemble one of its own Team Blowers (chassis number HB 3403) and catalog and 3D-scan its parts so the assembly team can create a complete digital model, according to a press release. After that, the team will use the original molds and tooling jigs from the 1920s, along with traditional hand tools and modern manufacturing technology, to re-create the cars.
Bentley will build 12 examples—one for each race the original four Team Blowers competed in—and the automaker says they’ll all be identical to the original wherever possible.
The only aspects that will be different will have to do with “modern safety concerns” and be hidden from owners to the best of Bentley’s ability.
A pressed steel frame, half-elliptic leaf spring suspension system, replica dampers and replica mechanical drum brakes will be used on the car’s structure.
The replicas will also be fitted with four-cylinder, 16-vale engines that have aluminum crankcases, cast-iron cylinder liners and non-detachable, cast-iron cylinder heads. The supercharger, an exact copy of the Amherst Villiers Mk IV roots-type supercharger, will help the 4.4-liter engine produce 240 horsepower.
After that, the original car will be reassembled, but not before it undergoes a complete inspection and mechanical restoration process. It still gets driven regularly at Concours events and the Goodwood Festival of Speed, so this will be a good opportunity to make sure everything is in good condition. It is 90 years old, after all.
Bentley said this entire process will take two years to finish. The price for one of the 12 cars, of course, is only available upon application.
So, for you “authentic” and “numbers-matching” freaks out there, these replica Team Blowers probably won’t make your cut, but there’s no doubt they’re extremely cool. It’s like when Jaguar was making a bunch of replica E-Types. Bentley’s process sounds painstaking, but if there were only four original cars made, this is a good way to bring their numbers up, however marginally.