Mixing Technic, Model Team, and a little bit of spray paint, this gorgeous Bentley 4.5 litre ‘Blower’ was found by one of our Elves on Eurobricks today. Built by newcomer BC Lego it includes working ‘worm gear’ steering, an opening bonnet under which lives a brick-built replica of the 4-cylinder supercharged engine, and one of the most detailed chassis we’ve seen in some time. See more at the Eurobricks forum via the link above where you can find a link to the full gallery and build details.
This incredible creation is the latest work of previous bloggee and TLCB Master MOCer Dennis Glaasker aka Brickonwheels. It’s a 1930 Bentley 4½ Litre ‘Blower’ as raced by Sir Henry Birkin in the 1930 Le Mans 24 Hour race, recreated by Dennis in astonishing detail in 1:8th scale from LEGO’s beautifully appropriate new dark green pieces.
Following Bentley’s victories in 1928 and ’29 at Le Mans the rival German teams brought supercharging to their race cars, instantly relegating the previous naturally aspirated Bentleys to mid-pack. Bentley answered with a new 6½ Litre design, however Birkin believed adding a supercharger to the existing 4½ Litre car was a better solution. With independent funding from wealthy (and eccentric) friends, the the result was the 4½ Litre ‘Blower’, which Birkin took to Le Mans to race against the official 6½ Litre works cars.
W. O. Bentley famously did not approve of Sir Henry Birkin’s supercharger modification, despite selling 55 cars to be modified so that the design could be raced. It was Bentley Motors themselves that took another win as, whilst fast, Birkin’s creation proved unreliable in the gruelling 24 hour race, retiring after 138 laps.
W. O. Bentley folded his works motorsport programme that year after four back-to-back Le Mans victories, claiming there was nothing more the company could learn from the race. A year later Bentley Motors went into administration. The Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression that followed saw demand for luxury cars plummet and Bentley – unable to keep up their mortgage payments – were forced into liquidation.
Sir Henry Birkin returned to Le Mans the next year, winning in an Alfa Romeo with fellow British driver Earl Howe, a feat upon which Mussolini personally congratulated him by telegram for his ‘win for Italy’.
Meanwhile Bentley Motors was put up for sale, with the ‘British Central Equitable Trust’ winning the bid to buy the company for £125,000 in 1931. The Trust proved to be a front for none other than arch rivals Rolls Royce, and the companies merged that year. W. O. Bentley himself was retained under contract, but unhappy at Rolls Royce he left for Lagonda in 1935, despite apparently stating that Bentley had made their best car under Rolls Royce ownership.
Sadly Sir Henry Birkin’s story proved more tragic. Reaching down to pick up a cigarette lighter during a pit-stop at the 1933 Tripoli Grand Prix (only in the 1930s!), Birkin badly burnt himself on the exhaust pipe of his Maserati 8C. The wound turned septic and he died a month later, aged just 36.
Dennis Glaasker’s breathtaking Bentley 4½ Litre ‘Blower’ as raced by Sir Henry Birkin is a fitting tribute to both one of motorsports most unusual cars and to the gentleman that raced it. A beautifully detailed engine, chassis, fuel tank, interior and drivetrain are present, and custom decals, chromed pieces, and even a rubber sheet to cover the rear seats add to the model’s phenomenal realism.
Full details of Dennis’ stunning creation can be found at the Eurobricks Forum, whilst the complete gallery of spectacular imagery is available to view on Flickr. You can also read our interview with the builder himself as part of the Master MOCers Series to find out how his incredible creations like this are made. Take look via the links above.
LegoGallifrey‘s ‘blower’ Bentley is not a new build, but it is superb, and it’s been recently updated to include even more period realism, plus – and most importantly – it allows us to post a smutty title.
Built between 1927 and 1931, the Bentley 4½ litre was designed to take on the European performance cars of the time, and with a supercharger fitted (or ‘blower’ as it was known), power jumped by over 100bhp to 240, allowing Bentley to set several speed records, including a recorded 138mph at Brooklands.
Only 55 of the 720 Bentley 4½ litres built received a supercharger and they command truly astronomical prices today, so if you want one LegoGallifrey’s version is probably as close as you’ll get. Head over to Flickr via the link above to take a closer look.
Charlie, powder, coke, dust, snow, nose candy…. all of interest to your Dad in the ’80s, but not the sort of blow we have here. This beautifully shot Town-scale hot rod from serial bloggee _Tiler features one of the smallest supercharged engines we’ve ever seen. In fact it looks to be mostly supercharger and not much engine at all, but who are we to argue with the Blow to Bang ratio when it looks this cool. Join us at the line via the link above.
If you added up the entire value of all the vehicles in The Lego Car Blog’s carpark, it still wouldn’t equal one of these. Or even half of one. In truth, we do own a lot of crap, but we are Car People so there’s some good stuff knocking around too (guesses in the comments!). Anyway, this gorgeous green creation is of course an inter-war ‘Blower’ Bentley, and just like the real car it’s absolutely magnificent.
LegoGallifrey is the builder and you can doff your cap/salute/[insert other cultural and chronologically appropriate response] his brilliant mini-figure scale build via the link above.