Bentley’s Speed ​​Six Continuation series is an all-new 92-year-old car

If you had the chance, would you buy a Bentley Speed ​​Six when it was new? For those who feel like they missed out, good news: you could try a brand new, authentically built Speed ​​Six, just like these late 1920s and early 1930s Bentley Mulliner originals. , which was the same internal customization outfit. behind the Bentley Blower Continuation series of 12 cars. For this limited Continuation Series run, the team will recreate the 1929 and 1930 Bentley Speed ​​Six that won each of the Le Mans races of the same year. There is only one catch.

The beauty of Bentley Mulliner’s Continuation Series is that these 12 cars will be built exactly as they were in 1929 and 1930. It’ll be like you’re stepping back in time, buying them from Bentley, and then pulling them out through that quantum tunnel in this order. Yes, these cars will even feature newly built 6.5-litre I-6 engines that produce around 200bhp, just enough power to drive these classics to 125mph on the Mulsanne Straight. When new, Bentley only built 182 Speed ​​Six in Cricklewood, North London, with varying frame lengths, depending on the body style and requirements of the individual buyer.

The Speed ​​Six is ​​considered an important racing car in Bentley’s history, as it not only proved that the brand was capable of racing with other established brands, but also that the Grand Tourer was a workable design. . Before that, if you wanted speed, you sacrificed comfort or vice versa. Cars like the Speed ​​Six proved that this didn’t have to be the case and paved the way for future production GTs.

An improvement over the 1926 6 1/2 liter Bentley, the Speed ​​Six produced more power and offered shorter, sportier chassis options. Race versions, however, used the shorter 132-inch chassis and the more powerful 200 hp version of the big six. It was a dominant car, leading Le Mans 1929 from start to finish and setting a new lap record of 7:21 with Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin at the wheel and Woolf Barnato as co-driver. He also rode with an average speed of 83 mph – breathtaking for the time – and a total race distance of 1,767 miles, a feat unmatched in nearly 30 years. Bentley and the Speed ​​Six followed up with another victory in 1930.

Modern builds of the 1929 and 1930 Speed ​​Six, while faithful in almost every way to the originals, see some contemporary tooling used in their construction. Mulliner created a full 3D computer-aided design (CAD) of the cars using both the original blueprints and two original cars for reference. One of the originals used was “Old Number Three”, the surviving 1930 Le Mans Speed ​​Six that is not only still road legal, but still raced by its current owner today. The other reference car was a Speed ​​Six which belongs to Bentley and its Heritage Collection, a 1929 road car with a four-seat “Vanden Plas” body. It was used primarily as a benchmark for performance and handling of continuation cars, including engine power data for newer 6.5-liter I-6s to match or improve its performance.

It’s been 92 years since the last new Bentley Speed ​​Six was built, making the dozen new factory-built Speed ​​Sixes later this year as part of this new Continuation series extraordinary and far beyond all the replicas. The 2022 Speed ​​Six “Zero” will join the Blower “Zero” at Bentley headquarters. The rest will be sent home to new owners wanting newly built, but classic remastered cars for $1,838,873 apiece. Oh, the catch we talked about at the start of this story? The 12 cars are reserved. You’ll want to start researching that time machine to get your own new Speed ​​Six either this year or in the 30s.

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