Bentley Mulliner has completed the first new Bentley Blower in 90 years, with the delivery of Car Zero – the prototype car for the Blower Continuation Series.
This run of 12 customer cars – all pre-sold – will be built from the design drawings and tooling jigs used for the original four Blowers built and raced by Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin in the late 1920s. Specifically, Bentley’s own Team Car (Chassis HB 3403, engine SM 3902, registration UU 5872 – Team Car #2) has provided the master model for the Continuation Series, with every single component laser-scanned as part of a wheels-up restoration.
Blower Car Zero is a dedicated test and development prototype, built in advance of the 12 customer cars, and will be subjected to durability and performance testing. Finished in gloss black, with an interior in Oxblood red leather from Bridge of Weir.
The Blower Continuation Series is the first project by the new Bentley Mulliner Classic portfolio, one of three new divisions of Mulliner alongside Coachbuilt (currently developing the equally-exclusive Bacalar) and Collections (responsible for the Continental GT Mulliner).
The first step in creating Car Zero was an extensive analysis of the original design drawings and drafts that were referenced in the creation of the original Blower Team Cars, together with archived period photographs of the cars. Following a piece-by-piece disassembly of the #2 Team Car owned by Bentley (likely the most valuable Bentley in the world). Laser scanning of the frame and its components created a complete digital CAD model of the Blower.
Car Zero’s 4.5 litre engine, originally designed by W.O. Bentley himself features many innovations of the time including aluminium pistons, an overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder and twin spark ignition. The engine has been paired with a newly machined Amherst Villiers roots-type supercharger.
With the build of Car Zero complete, a programme of real-world durability testing will begin to include 35,000km of real-world driving across 8,000km of track driving, and simulates the undertaking of famous rallies such as Peking to Paris and Mille Miglia. The testing will also a particularly brave driver taking the car to its top speed – with Adrian Hallmark first in the queue.