The original Blower Bentley wasn’t actually the creation of W.O. Bentley. It was a creation of the ‘Bentley Boys’. The Bentley Boys were a group of wealthy, upper-class car nuts who, in the 1920s, drove Bentley to racing success at the likes of Brooklands and Le Mans.
But the Bentley Boys were constantly seeking more power from their Bentleys and, when Bentley got in to financial difficulty in 1925, it was the Bentley Boys (in particular Woolf Barnato – heir to S.African mining fortune) who came to the rescue and took control of Bentley, and created the legendary Blower Bentley.
The Blower Bentley was created by adding a Roots Supercharger to Bentley’s 4.5 litre, to create a 242bhp monster. Built at the factory of another Bentley Boy – Tim Birkin – 50 cars were produced to allow the Blower to enter Le Mans. But it was far from reliable (and hugely thirsty) and, despite their best efforts, they failed to win at Le Mans.
But we’re starting to hear rumours that Bentley are working on a modern day version of the Blower Bentley. We’ve heard from more than one source that Bentley are in the process of shipping ‘Big Players’ from around the world to view their latest creation. Now it is possible that they are off to see the latest Bentley Continental Supersports, but that seems unlikely. After all, the Supersports has already had a public unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show this year, and has been spotted out testing.
So that leads us to the possibility that Bentley has taken the underpinnings of the Supersports (621bhp remember) and created a 21st century version of the Bentley Blower. Can you imagine what that will be like? All that power in an open, 2 seater, lightweight stripped-out Bentley. It would probably be capable of 0-60mph in under 3 seconds and on to a top speed well north of 200mph.
But there is a little more than wishful thinking behind this. One of the people we spoke to who had been invited, but was understandably reluctant to go in to detail (even if he knew more detail), told us he was off to view ‘The new super-light Bentley Roadster” next month. Even allowing for English not being his first language, that doesn’t sound much like the Supersports to us.
We’re digging for all we’re worth to get more detail on this. But for now we’ll have to settle for salivating at the prospect of a New Blower Bentley.