The very first Bentley ‘Blower’ completed at the factory in 1930 will go under the hammer on 5th November 2021 with a value in excess of £4M…
More often than not, the only ‘Blower’ we hear about nowadays tends to be the pre-war continuation series that Bentley Mulliner is currently producing 12 of at their dedicated workshop in Crewe, so it’s refreshing when one of the more ‘fabled’ variety breaks cover.
There were two versions of the Bentley ‘Blower’ produced in 1929 – the Birkin ‘Blower’ closely followed by 50 road-going machines that were built in batches of 25 units at a time.
While many anecdotes mention ‘the‘ four, in reality, five original ‘Team Blowers’ were built for Birkin in the late 1920s with the extra one being used for spares. Only four of these were campaigned on the dangerous racetracks of Europe, with the most famous car – Birkin’s own Team Car No. 2, registration UU 5872 – racing at Le Mans and playing a pivotal role in the factory Bentley Speed Six victory in 1930.
It was this insatiable quest for victory, power, and performance that led to the development of the marque’s definitive four-cylinder engine being supercharged and associated with Bentley’s pre-war racing efforts and iconic drivers such as Sir Henry (Tim) Birkin.
The new supercharger was penned by Amherst Villiers, which when coupled to the 4½-litre engine, boosted its power from a decent 100bhp to an impressive 175bhp. 50 such cars were commissioned, and the car offered for sale in London is no less than the very first ‘Blower’ completed at the factory in 1930, chassis SM3903.
Furthermore, this particular car, complete with Rexine, was displayed at the 1929 London Motor Show and subsequently retained by Bentley Motors for some time afterwards, serving as company demonstrator until late in 1931 before being sold via London’s Jack Barclay dealership.
Chassis SM3903’s undisputed status as the very first of the famed Blower Bentleys completed makes it one of the most significant Bentleys in existence and will carry an estimate of £4,200,000 when it goes under the auctioneer’s gavel in November 2021.
Images courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
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