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1927 Bentley 4.5 Liter news, pictures, specifications, and information

Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: YU7692
 
With the 'Bentley Boys' success at LeMans, owners of Bentley touring cars for decades have had theirs re-bodied to emulate the LeMans winner. This car, #YU7692, received this upgrading including a proper 4.5-liter engine with Phoenix crank and rods, 4.5 gearbox and transmission, larger racing fuel tank, long racing bonnet, cycle wings and larger racing gauges.

As noted Shelsley Special racer J.G. Fry said back in 1943, 'Recipe: take a good three-liter Red Label Bentley chassis, mix in a good 4.5-liter engine, gearbox and transmission, and add a light two-seater body with accessories to taste. The result is a motor car which, while still retaining good vintage flavor, possesses performance equaled by few other machines even of the most modern and expensive type.'

This #YU7692 is a fully sorted example that was owned by the same Bentley Drivers Club owner since the 1960s and VSCC raced throughout Europe and is ready for vintage racing or any historic tours or events.
The Bentley 4 1/2 liter came into existence to fill a void left by the 3-liter and the 6.5-liter variants. The 3-liter suffered from underperformance while the 6.5-liter was unsafe for the roads. The 6.5-liter was powerful, and with poor road-conditions often caused tires to fail quickly. The solution was the Bentley 4.5-liter; a vehicle that had enough power to carry the vehicle down the road at a good pace. The chassis consists of channel-steel, front and rear suspension by semi-elliptic leaf springs, and 4-wheel drum brakes.
Production amounted to a total of 733 cars of all body styles. Fifty-four cars were equipped with the famous supercharged engine, 'Blower Bentleys,' built by the race driver Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin as a private venture - against W.O. Bentley's wishes.

The 4.5-Liter Supercharged Bentley, better known as the 'Blower' Bentleys, is a sporting automotive icon that earned its place in history as an engineering marvel and powerhouse. Only 50 examples, plus an additional five racing prototypes, were created. In the modern era, they are among the top rank in collector cars throughout the world.

Engineer and founder W.O. Bentley was hesitant to adapt a supercharger to his 4.5-liter engines. Rather, the development was financed by a woman, the Honorable Dorthy Paget, who provided the funds necessary to complete the project. It was for Henry R.S. 'Tim' Birkin, one of the 'Bentley Boys' who campaigned the Bentleys at many venues and various competition events bringing recognition and victories to the Bentley marque. The list includes Brooklands with its closed oval course, and the other extreme, LeMans, with his challenging road course.

Birkin had intended to race the supercharged 4.5-liter Bentley at LeMans in 1929, but lubrication problems on the early cars halted those plans. Instead, Woolf Barnato (Bentley's chairman and fellow factory team racer), Birkin, and Glen Kidston drove the Bentley Speed Six Models in 1929 to victories at LeMans.

Birkin was able to convince Barnato to enter the 'blower' Bentley in the 1930 LeMans race. In order to do so, homologation requirements had to be satisfied. The rules stated a minimum of 50 examples had to be built. Bentley officially introduced their production versions of the cars at the 1929 Olympia Motor Show, with the fist cars on sale in April of 1930.

With homologation requirements satisfied, Bentley entered two blowers and three Speed Six models. Birkin's LeMans blower was co-drive by Jean Chassagne. The Blower Bentley showed great promise early in the race, and by the fourth lap had passed a highly-competitive supercharged Mercedes at 126 mph. In the process it shredded a tire and was forced to stop. At the time, they had been averaging 89.66 mph per lap, which was a new lap record for the course.

The other Bentley's were given the job of chasing down the Mercedes. Their job became much easier when the Mercedes was forced to retire when their battery died. The Blower Bentley's would endure similar fate, as they were forced to retire in the 20th hour. The Speed Six models went on to secure a 1-2 Bentley victory.

1930 was the last year the Bentley factory team would compete at LeMans, as the company had fallen on very difficult economical times. Dorothy Paget eventually withdrew her support for the Birkin blowers as the cost to compete continued to escalate. This brought an end to the short-lived saga of the Bentley blower era.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
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BENTLEY SCORES HARD-FOUGHT SECOND WIN IN A ROW
Smith, Meyrick and Kane victorious in close race at Paul Ricard • Continental GT3 wins third round of Blancpain Endurance Series • 2014 Bentley Boys take championship lead (Paul Ricard, 29th June 2014) After scoring an historic victory at Silverstone last month, the #7 M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 of Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Steven Kane finished first in the third round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France, for the team's second victor...[Read more...]
CONTINENTAL GT3 SET FOR PAUL RICARD CHALLENGE
 M-Sport Bentley focuses on championship points • Three-hour race forms third round of the Blancpain Endurance Series • Drivers look for another successful race after victory at Silverstone (Crewe, 23rd May 2014) After a maiden win for the Continental GT3 last month at Silverstone, M-Sport Bentley is ready to take on the competition again at the third round of the Blancpain Endurance Series. A three-hour race on the evening of Saturday 28th June at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern ...[Read more...]
BENTLEY READY FOR RETURN TO BRITISH RACING HERITAGE
◾M-Sport Bentley set for Blancpain Endurance race at Silverstone ◾Team targets another strong finish after learnings from opening round ◾First Works-associated Bentley racing in the UK for over 80 years (Crewe, 16th May 2014) M-Sport Bentley creates another piece of racing history next weekend as the team prepares to return factory-affiliated Bentleys to a British racetrack for the first time in over 80 years. Looking to build on the strong finish and learnings from the opening round...[Read more...]
BENTLEY BLOWERS PRIMED FOR CLASSIC MILLE MIGLIA CHALLENGE
(Crewe/Brescia, 8 May 2014) Bentley Motors is competing in Mille Miglia 2014 (15-18 May) with two of the company's famous 4 ½ Litre supercharged 'Blowers' taking on the 1,700 km route. The 1930 Le Mans 'Team Car' once owned by Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin, one of the most celebrated members of a group of British gentlemen racers known as the Bentley Boys, will be joined by a former company demonstrator Blower with its original Vanden Plas Open, Sports Four Seater body for this renowned race....[Read more...]
BENTLEY MOTORSPORT RETURNS TO NORTH AMERICA
• Continental GT3 to compete in North America with Dyson Racing • First race to be Pirelli World Challenge round at Road America • Development over 2014 in preparation for 2015 championship • New Continental GT3 race car on display at NYIAS (New York, 16th April 2014) After an impressive performance at the opening round of the Blancpain Endurance Series in Monza, Italy last weekend, the new Bentley Continental GT3 is set to reintroduce the celebrated British marque to North American...[Read more...]

Arrow Right 1927 Bentley models
Bentley 3-Litre
Bentley 3-Litre Speed Model
Bentley 6 ½-Litre
Bentley Speed Six Markham

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