Classic Cars

Blower Bentleys for Mille Miglia

Bentley bringing racer and road car to the famous revival race in Italy.

Though Bentley may be better known for uber-luxury sedans, back in the day it was a dominant force at Le Mans. That’s why the Flying B marque released those Le Mans special editions, and it’s that same history which Bentley seeks to rekindle at the Mille Miglia this year. At the upcoming Italian revival rally, the British automaker will field with two of its classic "Blower Bentleys", those supercharged 4.5-liter goliaths piloted by the famous Bentley Boys that put the company on the map back in 1930.

The first of the cars was piloted by Captain Tim Birkin at the 1930 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, famously challenging the 7-liter Kompressor Mercedes and setting a fastest lap (despite throwing a rear tire tread) before prematurely retiring from the race. The car was re-acquired by Bentley in 2000. The second “Blower” (so named for their supercharged engines) which Bentley is bringing to the Mille Miglia this year was a customer demonstrator fitted with four-seat Vanden Plas coachwork. It was bought back by Bentley in 1997 and, like the aforementioned racer, has been brought to numerous revival races and classic car gatherings over the years.

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