Bentley Motors will be fielding two 4.5-liter Supercharged ‘Blowers’ to the 2013 edition of the classic car race Mille Miglia. Bentley’s Mille Miglia lineup includes a 1930 Le Mans race car belonging to Captain Tim Birkin of the famous Bentley Boys and a company demonstration Blower that remains in excellent condition even after around 90 years on the road.
Bentley Motors brought the ‘No. 2 Team Car’ in 2000 and has fielded it on campaigns across the world since then. Birkin’s Blower is widely known for its epic battle with a 7-liter supercharged ‘Kompressor’ Mercedes at Le Mans in 1930. The duel’s highlight was when Birkin placed his off-side wheels on the grass to pass his Mercedes rival Rudolf Caracciola at 120mph. One of the Blower’s rear tire treads was immediately thrown off, but Birkin somehow went on to set the fastest lap.
Birkin’s Le Mans campaign ended just after 82 laps, but the pressure he applied against his opponent allowed fellow Bentley Boys Woolf Barnato and Glenn Kidston to secure victory in their Bentley Speed Six. Richard Charlesworth, Bentley’s Director of Royal and VIP Relations, helped prepare the Le Mans 1930 Blower for its third Mille Miglia challenge at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe. He remarked that the Blower was “a fantastic car to drive and remains extremely rapid as well.” He added that they take great pride in ensuring that all the cars Bentley owns continue to regularly compete, and are not museum exhibits.
“There are currently over 100,000 miles on this elegant Blower Bentley but we’re certain it has completed many more than this,” comments 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.”