The No. 2 Team Car – raced at Le Mans by Captain Tim Birkin – was bought by Bentley Motors in 2000 and has been regularly campaigned across the world by the company ever since. Richard Charlesworth, Bentley’s Director of Royal and VIP Relations, who has helped prepare the car for its third Mille Miglia at Bentley’s Crewe headquarters, explains:
“This is a fantastic car to drive and remains extremely rapid as well. We take great pride in making sure all the cars Bentley owns continue to regularly compete or run and are not museum exhibits. We are all looking forward to the unique Mille Miglia experience.”
The car is perhaps best known for its epic duel with a supercharged 7-litre ‘Kompressor’ Mercedes at Le Mans in 1930 with Birkin putting his off-side wheels on the grass as he completed a typically daring pass of his legendary Mercedes opponent, Rudolf Caracciola,
at 120 mph. The Blower Bentley threw one of its rear tire treads, but somehow Birkin
carried on to set the fastest lap.
Sadly Birkin’s campaign ended after 82 laps but the immense pressure he applied to the Mercedes is wildly credited with assisting his fellow Bentley Boys Woolf Barnato and Glenn Kidston to win the race in their Bentley Speed Six.
The second Bentley Blower to take-on Mille Miglia was completed in 1930 and is fitted with a beautiful Vanden Plas Open, Sports Four-Seater body. It was owned by Bentley Motors as a customer demonstrator car before passing into private ownership. Repurchased by Bentley Motors in 1997, the car continues to turn heads at Bentley customer events across the world and is still faithfully fulfilling demonstration rides well into its ninth decade.
“There are currently over 100,000 miles on this elegant Blower Bentley but we’re certain it
has completed many more than this,” said Richard Charlesworth. “However, everyone at
Bentley is confident the car will run for many, many years to come and will complete
the 1,000 mile round-trip to and from Brescia.”
For more information about the latest vehicles from Bentley, please visit http://www.bentleymotors.com/models/continental_gt_v8/