Bentley’s Blower Continuation Series project reached a technological milestone with the digital CAD (Computer-Aided Design) model completion of Sir Tim Birkin’s ‘UU 5872’ Team Blower that will serve as the master design and engineering reference for the new cars.
The Blower Continuation Series was announced last year and will include a run of twelve new Bentley Blowers, each of which will be an exact mechanical copy of the 1929 Team Blower built and raced by Sir Tim Birkin, and now likely the most valuable Bentley in the world.
The Continuation cars are being produced by a dedicated team in Bentley Mulliner’s Classic division, who cut their teeth on the recently restored 1939 Bentley Corniche and who are now working with a team of vintage specialists to re-engineer and build the suite of parts needed to bring the new series of cars to life.
Tim Birkin’s Blower – UU 5872
All 12 of the ‘new’ cars have already been sold off-plan to affluent collectors with the first stages of Bentley’s own engineering prototype ‘Car Zero’ beginning soon.
Bentley’s Team Blower has been carefully dismantled and then re-created in the digital world through a combination of precision laser-scanning and intricate hand measurement. The finished CAD model is comprised of 630 components across 70 assemblies and is more than 2GB in size.
From start to finish it’s taken 1200 man-hours for two dedicated CAD engineers to complete the model from the scan data and measurements, and the result is that an accurate and complete digital model for a 1920s Bentley now exists for the very first time. The engineers have been able to complete the model while working remotely during the COVID-19 crisis.
1929 Team Blower – UU 5872
Five original ‘Team Blowers’ were built for Birkin, in the late 1920s with the extra one being used for spares. Only four were campaigned on the 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 is this car, now Bentley’s own Team Blower – chassis number HB 3403 – that is the master example for the Continuation Series.
Using the original 1920s moulds and tooling jigs, and an array of traditional hand tools alongside the latest manufacturing technology, 12 sets of parts are being created, before Bentley Mulliner’s skilled heritage technicians assemble the new Blowers.
As continuations of the original Team Blower, each of the new Continuation Series cars will feature four-cylinder, 16-valve engines with an aluminium crankcase with cast iron cylinder liners and non-detachable cast-iron cylinder head.
The supercharger will be an exact replica of the Amherst Villiers Mk IV roots-type supercharger, helping the 4398 cc engine to develop 240 bhp @ 4,200 rpm. The car’s structure will be a pressed steel frame, with half-elliptic leaf spring suspension with copies of Bentley & Draper dampers. Recreations of Bentley-Perrot 40 cm (17.75”) mechanical drum brakes and worm and sector steering complete the chassis.