The engine, which will take place in the first chassis of the Blower Continuation Series created by Bentley and Mulliner, was started for the first time on a test bench specially prepared for it at the premises of Crewe, Great Britain.
The Blower Continuation Series will consist of 12 new chassis, made according to their model: the legendary Bentley Blower 4.5 liters Supercharged driven at the end of the 1920s by Sir Tim Birkin. These twelve vehicles have all been sold to amateur collectors of Bentley productions.
The prototype for this project (the zero car) is currently under construction in the Crewe workshops, and Bentley engineers have started to prepare one of the four test benches that have been on the grounds of the UK factory since 1938. The cells of these installations were originally intended to test Merlin V12 aero engines produced to equip Spitfire and Hurricane fighter planes during World War II.
The preparation of these test stands involved the construction of a half-frame (the front part) of the Bentley Team Blower, which will receive the engine on which the computer-controlled dynamometer can then be mounted. The engine will be tested over a 20-hour cycle, before being installed in the chassis of the first prototype (“car zero”) to perform the first real tests. Bentley notably plans to simulate the Paris-Beijing rally as well as the Mille Miglia with this prototype vehicle, and to cover the equivalent of 35,000 km (including 8,000 km on the circuit).
The Bentley 4.5 liter engine imagined by W.O. Bentley in person, developed in its competition version some 130 hp, but this power was not sufficient for Sir Tim Birkin who demanded more. Faced with the reluctance of W.O. Bentley, Tim Birkin, with financial support from Dorothy Paget and technical support from Clive Gallop, himself asked Amherst Villiers to make a supercharged version of this 4.5 liter engine. A Roots-type Supercharger was then installed upstream of the engine and radiator (and driven directly by the crankshaft), while internal engine modifications were also carried out, including the installation of a new, stronger crankshaft, reinforced connecting rods. and a modified oil system.
Thus prepared, the supercharged 4.5-liter Blower engine developed around 240 hp, which allowed the Bentley Blowers to be extremely fast. But as W.O Bentley predicted, they were also very fragile. If the Bentley Blowers did not win any of the twelve races in which they took part, they nevertheless contributed in their own way to the future success of the Bentley Speed Six at the 1930 24 Hours of Le Mans.