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Assembly of the engineering prototype for world's first pre-war Continuation Series, the Bentley Blower, goes underway.

06 Aug 2020 | International News : U.K.


Assembly of the first new Bentley Blower in more than nine decades has officially started in a bespoke Bentley Mulliner workshop.

'Car Zero' is the engineering prototype for the Blower Continuation Series, a run of 12 meticulously engineered and hand-crafted Bentleys built to the unique design of Bentley's own 1929 Team Car developed and raced by Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin. The 12 cars form the world's first continuation series for a pre-war car, and all have been pre-sold.

A new ash frame created by Lomax Coachbuilders is going through the final stages of carpentry by Mulliner's team of experts
From the outset, Bentley Mulliner sought to engage the very best specialists across the U.K. to create componentry for the Blower Continuation Series in a manner befitting such a project - using traditional techniques passed down through generations.

With the very latest Computer Aided Design technology finalising the exact designs to supplement the original engineering blueprints from the 1920s, work began at a multitude of small artisan businesses to bring the new Blower to life.

The chassis has been created in heavy-gauge steel, hand-formed and hot riveted by the specialists at Israel Newton and Sons Limited.

The Vintage Car Radiator Company, based at Bicester Heritage, has crafted exact recreations of the some of the Blower's key components - including the mirror-polished, nickel-plated radiator shell and the hand-beaten fuel tank formed in steel and copper. These parts will feed the first Blower's brand new 4.5-litre engine, originally designed by W.O Bentley himself and now recreated by Bentley Mulliner with the expert support of specialists including NDR Limited.

The engine will be tuned by Mulliner's experts on a specially-prepared testbed and should generate around 240bhp
Featuring many innovations of which a sports car engine of the 1970s would be proud - aluminium pistons, an overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder and twin spark ignition - the renowned 4.5-litre engine will meet a newly machined, exact recreation of an Amherst Villiers roots-type supercharger.

The Blower's iconic headlamps have been reborn by Vintage Headlamp Restoration International Limited in Sheffield. This father and son team is world-renowned for their silversmithing and ability to create vintage-design headlamps from original specifications.

Leaf springs and shackles have been made to original specifications by Jones Springs Limited, a specialist with nearly 75 years of experience and a history that started in a blacksmith's forge.

Over the coming weeks, more and more components for Car Zero will be completed and test-fit. The new engine and supercharger will be put through their paces on Bentley's very own engine development test beds in Crewe, while period-specific paint will be applied to the chassis before final assembly begins. The finished Car Zero is due to make its first public appearance in late 2020, but only after it has been shown to the 12 customers of this extraordinary project.

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