High speed Bentley

The 1930/31 Bentley Blower No5, which was built using parts of the famous and victorious 1920s Bentleys Le Mans racecars and further improved during the 1930s. It was part of a raceteam from the Le Mans Winner Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin, who sold it to a hunting friend after a Le Mans project failed. Fitted with a more aerodynamically Vanden Plas body and further sold to Mark Strutt, the car became famous for it's speed. 

Strutt, who had good contacts to the army was timed at 137mph on the Road from Thetford to Newmarket, which was unofficially closed for the occasion by the army. The attempt was also timed from the air by a bomber pilot friend of Strutt.  

 

The car belonged to the fleet of the Le Mans Winner  Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin, who created the 4.5 litre Blower Bentley and raced them quite successfully. Birkin, having won the 1929 Le Mans Race in a Bentley Speed 6, entered supercharged Bentleys in the 1930 Le Mans Race. They led at times during the 1930 race and broke the lap record, but suffered from reliability issues.

 

After the race, all cars were sold off. A total of five Birkin Blowers were built but the fifth car never had the opportunity to be raced by the team before its disposal.  It was constructed largely from parts of the No. 1 car when it was rebuilt as a single-seater and the No. 2 car when it received a short chassis.

 

137mph with the unusually boottail fabric-body

 

The No. 5 car was registered for the road as UR9155, a Hertfordshire registration, sold to David Cuthbert, a personal shooting friend of Birkin who lived at Beaufront Castle in Northumberland.   The car was fitted with a revolutionary spring steel skeleton framed two-seater body, built by Vanden Plas, which had been fitted to the No. 1 team car for the 1929 500 Mile Race at Brooklands.

 

 

 

It was then sold to Mark Strutt of London Estate Agents, Strutt & Parker, in 1940, who had good contacts to the army and later that year he was timed at 137mph on the Road from Thetford to Newmarket,which was unofficially closed for the occasion by the army. The attempt was also timed from the air by a bomber pilot friend of Strutt.  


Modern photographsfrom: http://www.vintagebentleys.org/carpages/ur9155.php

Today it still carries the Registration No. UR 9155 and was shown at the Chateau Impney Concours d'Elegance (for more information please see:  http://www.chateauimpneyhillclimb.com/blog/concours-delegance-no5-birkin-bentley-blower/