Long live the most complex series-production twelve-cylinder.
Like other brands with models steeped in history, Bentley is jumping into the continuation dance with enthusiasm and the tech to make sure it nails the dance steps just right. The dedicated team working the project has announced it has completed a digital model of the car—including CAD renderings of 630 unique parts.
For comparison—and we will use a car of the era for discussion—a Ford Model T has roughly 1500 parts total. A car as complex as the Birkin Bentley, with its supercharger and other more-complicated engine bits, could easily push 3000–4000 parts, even though it is only a four-cylinder engine. Maybe the 630 unique parts will require a special run just for these continuation cars?
Regardless, each of these parts had to be taken from an original Blower Bentley and laser scanned, followed by hand measuring to create a digital file that can be used to create molds for casting or otherwise creating the pieces needed. With just four of the Team Blower cars built in the late 1920s, it is easy to see why a team would need to spend 1200 man hours to recreate the bits needed to build a new run of a dozen cars.
The number 12 was selected because that’s the number of races that the four original blower cars competed in. Those 12 continuation cars have already been spoken for, and the computer model may only be recently completed, but the design team at Bentley is already using it to help future owners select interior and exterior colors. Personally, if any of those cars is anything other than British racing green, I think it’s a mistake. Then again, I can’t afford one anyway, so my opinion doesn’t hold much weight.