Bentley Blows Back to the Future

Bentley has caused a bit of a stir by laying down a dozen recreations of the iconic Twenties 4.5-litre Blower models championed by Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin. The £1.5 million plus machines are being lovingly recreated by Bentley Motors bespoke car operation Mulliner.

The Blower Bentleys of old were always controversial as WO himself was against the whole concept. His was the Edwardian school that if you wanted a faster car you built it with a larger engine. However, Birkin was a chum of Amherst Villiers, the supercharger’s creator, and thought that the device which boosted power from 175bhp to 240bhp was just the thing to beat the opposition. In this quest he won the support of Bentley chairman and backer Woolf Barnato.

Today’s recreations are causing a similar storm. One of the options, apparently, is whether to have your Blower Bentley clone delivered in virginal as new condition as it first appeared from the Cricklewood factory or with fake wear like the worn heel board of Birkin’s own device.

Apparently some of today’s glitterati have been outraged enough to write to Bentley Motors complaining about such blatant artifice – but they may very well own an original Blower Bentley with a real history themselves. So to quote Miss Rice Davies “ They would, wouldn’t they?”

What do you think?