A unique 4 ½ Litre Supercharged ‘Blower’ single seat racing Bentley that used to belong to Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin was sold by Bonhams auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed for a staggering f £4.5 million, or more than $7 million in today’s money. So the Blower Bentley brakes another world record, eight decades after it broke the speed record at Brooklands circuit by reaching 137.96mph.
This 240bhp supercharged red racer is now officially the most expensive Bentley in the world, beating the Speed Six known as ‘Old No 2’ which achieved £2.8 million at the Le Mans Classic in 2004.
A large part of this car’s appeal is because of charismatic owner. The ‘Bentley Boy’ Tim Brinkin was a fearless fighter pilot and a racing driver who won Le Mans. In March 1932 Birkin set a record 137.96mph (219.93kmh) at Brooklands, a feat even a man renowned for pushing back the limits in motor sport would describe as hair-raising: “there are bumps which jolt the driver up and down in his seat and make the car leave the road and travel through the air,” said Birkin.
What a man! What a car!