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Famous for his statement "there's no replacement for displacement," Walter Owen Bentley upped the displacement of his 3 Litre sports car in 1926, producing the 4½ Litre. In search of even more power, Bentley's "Bentley Boys" took control of the company and in 1929 developed the legendary "Blower" supercharged version of the car at Henry Birkin's racing workshops in Welwyn Garden City.

The 4½ Litre was an evolution of the 3 Litre, sharing that car's basic chassis, including its semi-elliptical suspension at all four wheels and 4-wheel brakes. The straight-4 engine was bored out to 100 mm (3.9 in) to produce 4.4 L (4398 cc/268 in³) of displacement. This was good for 110 hp (82 kW) in road-going models or 130 hp (97 kW) when tweaked for racing. However, the supercharged engine had a ridiculously huge thirst: the non-supercharged version, at 100mph, would have a fuel consumption of about 16 l/100 km (15 mpg) while the supercharged version would use about 102 l/100 km (2.3 mpg).

A 4½ Litre Bentley claimed victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1928 with drivers, Woolf Barnato and Bernard Rubin.

This is the car author Ian Fleming first chose for James Bond. It is featured in three of the 007 Novels, Casino Royale, Live and Let Die and Moonraker. In the book, Bond drives a battleship grey 1930 4½ Litre Convertible Coupé, with French Marchal headlamps and an Amherst Villiers supercharger.

Although W. O. Bentley despised forced induction, his "Bentley Boys", and especially Henry "Tim" Birkin, wanted to supercharge the engine for more power. When the company ran out of money in 1925, millionaire Bentley Boy, Woolf Barnato bought the company, and in 1929 the first supercharged 'Blower' Bentley was built at Sir Henry Birkin's engineering works in Welwyn Garden City.

Barnato quickly authorised the building of 50 production Blowers in order to meet the qualification requirements for entering such models at Le Mans the following year. The large Roots type supercharger was placed outside the engine cover, giving the cars a unique appearance. With 175 hp (130 kW) on tap, expectations for racing success were high, but durability was lacking and the Blowers never won a major race. In the end, it was W. O. Bentley's larger-displacement 6½ Litre car that would secure victories for the marque in 1929 and 1930.

Birkin's famous red single seater Blower, built and maintained at his Welwyn Garden City works, took the Brooklands Outer Circuit lap record to 137.96 mph in 1932. The record stood for another two years before being beaten by John Cobb's 24 litre Napier Railton.

Production
* Naturally-aspirated: 665
* Supercharged: 55


This is a very nice model of a very interesting subject, but the detail in many respects is inferior to a comparable Exoto or CMC, which would cost less than I paid for this example. Still, I'm very happy with this.
 

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Superb! I wish it wasn't so expensive though... :dizzy

I did not realise it was WO Bentley who coined the phrase "no replacement for displacement", I always thought that was a later American phrase thought up by someone in the muscle car development game! :cheers
 

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I too have to flinch at the asking price. It is a beautiful car though, and even if not a CMC, I can't deny that I really want one. I don't think I can honestly rule it out altogether though, even if it has to use up the budget for a little while. At least that saves on cabinet space :giggle

:edit Congrats on adding it BTW Jeff. No surprise that your pics do plenty to tempt me!
 
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My first Scalextric set in '58 (blush) had one of them "brutes" and a Bugatti T35.
Always loved the sheer magnitude of the Bentley.
See now how long I've been into Bugs !!!! :lol
 

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i got mine at the week end and i am really pleased with it it superb but i have to say i thought it woulb be bigger some how its now sat next to my autoart bentley le mans car the lmp only comes up to the blowers mudguards!!
 
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