Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin’s dramatic 4 ½ Litre Supercharged ‘Blower’ Bentley single seat racing machine fetched a record-breaking sale price of £4.5 million when it was auctioned by Bonhams at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. This venue is only 35 miles away from the Brooklands race circuit where it earned the respect of spectators about 80 years ago.
Birkin’s 240bhp supercharged red racer outperformed the previous auction record set by a Bentley in 2004 with the Speed Six dubbed the ‘Old No 2’. It sold for £2.8 million at the Le Mans Classic event. Le Mans winner Birkin had driven this model. This distinctive Bentley is one of the stars of the high-risk Outer Circuit at Brooklands. Birkin said that at Brooklands in March 1932, he was able to set a record of 137.96mph (219.93kmh).
Commenting on the exploits of Birkin and his 4 ½ litre at Brooklands, Richard Charlesworth, Bentley’s Director of VIP and Royal Relations comments: “Birkin along with his Bentley racing friends like Woolf Barnato, Dudley Benjafield and Glen Kidston were true sporting superstars, renowned not only for their driving ability and courage but living life to the full and in some considerable style. They would create the enduring legend of the Bentley Boy racer at Brooklands and Le Mans and this new record price for a Bentley achieved by Bonhams reflects the enduring respect and admiration for their story and their cars.”