The name “Bentley Boys” was given to the group of wealthy young sportsmen who single-handedly kept W.O. Bentley’s company alive in its early years by buying, promoting and racing its products.
Mike Couper, a new-car distributor and gentleman sportsman of some renown, was one of these, partnering with “Tim” Birkin to build the famous supercharged Blower Bentleys, and he remained faithful to the marque long after it passed out of W.O. Bentley’s ownership. He may well have been the final Read More
As with all great W.O. Bentley-era cars, the legendary 6½ Litre owes its existence to the original 3-liter design. Racing success, including the 1924 and 1927 Le Mans wins, quickly drove sales, with buyers soon demanding ever-more luxurious and heavy custom coachwork, resulting in the more powerful 4½ Litre, which in modified form earned Bentley’s third Le Mans win in 1928. While Tim Birkin famously created the supercharged 4½ Litre Blower Bentley, the Works’ own uprated 6½ Litre Speed Six Read More
The “Blower” Bentley is one of the most masculine, muscular and sporting motorcars ever built. While some companies hid their superchargers behind the radiator grille, the Bentley wears it right out front, and that statement alone says it all about the car and its creators.
First shown at the 1929 London Motor Show, it was developed as a private venture by “Bentley Boy” Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin in order to extract more performance from the proven 4½ Litre model, which Read More
• A two-time factory Le Mans entry
• 2nd Overall at the 1929 Brooklands Double Twelve
• 3rd Overall at the 1929 24 Hours of Le Mans
• The Only Remaining “Bobtail” 4½ Litre
For the 1928 season, Bentley was intent on having new Works cars, all based on the 4½-liter production chassis in addition to Old Mother Gun. The first two cars produced, YV7263 and YW2557, were Works specialized production chassis sent to Vanden Plas for lightweight Le Mans Read More
Among all Brooklands habitués of the 1920–30s, perhaps the most glamorous and charismatic of all the historic motor course’s racing celebrities was the diminutive Bentley-driving Baronet, Sir Henry Ralph Stanley “Tim” Birkin. He combined his “Bentley Boy” high-society image with a fearless driving talent.
With fellow enthusiast/racer Mike Couper, Birkin & Couper Ltd was established at Welwyn, where it produced the prototype 4½ Litre “Blower” Bentley in the summer of 1929. W.O. Bentley recalled: “They would lack in their preparation Read More
To describe this magnificent Bentley R-type Continental, it is difficult to improve upon the typically perceptive and balanced analysis that George Daniels himself wrote of the car for his autobiography All in Good Time — Reflections of a Watchmaker, published in 2000:
“The ease with which the Continental will cover vast distances without discomfort to its occupants is now legendary. It is silent, smooth and spaciously comfortable. At the cool, thin-rimmed steering wheel, one looks along a long, slender Read More
This 6½ Litre Le Mans-style tourer offered here was constructed from parts by well-known Bentley collector/racer and VSCC competitor David Llewellyn. The car was upgraded with the engine block from an 8 Litre model.
The car started life fitted with Weymann-type saloon coachwork by H J Mulliner and was first owned by RHR Palmer, of Messrs Huntley & Palmer, the Reading-based biscuit manufacturer.
It was first registered in the U.K. on June 30, 1929, Read More
By 1926, Bentley saw a need for a new 4-cylinder model. Although a Le Mans winner, the 3 Litre was wanting in international competition, and the standard road cars suffered from increasingly heavy bodies. With the 6½ Litre in production, Bentley sought to combine the light chassis of the 3 Litre with the added power of a larger motor. The result was essentially a 3 Litre chassis with a cut-down, 4-cylinder version of the 6½-liter engine.
W.O. Bentley proudly showed the new 3 Litre car bearing his name on Stand 126 at the 1919 Olympia Motor Exhibition, the prototype engine having fired up for the first time just a few weeks earlier. In only mildly developed form, this was the model that was to become a legend in motor racing history and which, with its leather-strapped bonnet, classical radiator design and British Racing Green livery has become the archetypal vintage sports car.
For the demanding Read More
The sale price is the result of multiple well-heeled bidders, all of whom value immediate acquisition of a handsome toy more than fiscal prudence
Walter Owen Bentley began his career as a railway engineer before going into automobiles (then airplane engines during World War I). He made full use of all his mechanical experience in 1919 to design a sports car with a 4-cylinder, 3-liter engine, much influenced by the Mercedes overhead camshaft engine of 1914. The Bentley Read More