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Bentley Blue Train dominates concours

2015-07-22 08:15

FAMOUS BENTLEY: The Bentley Speed Six that blasted former Bentley chairman Woolf Barnato from Calais to London won four awards at a prestigious concours event. Image: Newspress

  • Heritage model wins 4 prizes
  • 85 years since Blue Train race
  • Mulsanne Speed Blue Train

CREWE, England - 85 years after the famous victory that made its name, the Bentley Blue Train is still enjoying winning ways. The classic coupe won four prestige awards at the Schloss Bensberg Classics event in Germany over July 17-19.

A Speed Six Blue Train coupe, owned by Bruce McCaw, dominated the field at the invitation-only event, one of Europe’s classic concours shows.

It won four awards: 'Best in Class: The Style of Speed', 'Best of Show: Public Vote', 'Best of Show: Jury Vote' and ‘Best in Special Category: Pre-War Closed Models'.

HISTORY OF 'BLUE TRAIN' RACE

In 1930 Captain Woolf Barnato, chairman of Bentley Motors and son of wealthy South African gold and diamond-mine owner Barney Barnato, was staying in Cannes when he accepted a wager that not only could he beat the Calais-Mediterranée Express (the French Blue Train) back to Calais on the English Channel coast of France but that he could be at his club in London before the train even reached the Channel.

He was, and the victory has resonated with Bentley enthusiasts. The car believed to have accomplished the feat was the iconic Gurney Nutting two-door fastback coupe.

Evidence has emerged to suggest that Barnato drove his Mulliner saloon Speed 6 in the race but it is the coupe that will for ever be known as "the Blue Train car".

MULSANNE SPEED LIMITED EDITION

To commemorate this historic feat Bentley Motors has produced a Limited Edition – the Mulsanne Speed Blue Train.

The Blue Train Limited Edition is assembled by the skilled craftsmen and women of Bentley’s coach-building division, Mulliner. Each will have a number of delightful historical references and modern interpretations of design details from the original Speed Six.

For example, the fluting in the door panels and rear quarter-inserts echo the interior of Barnato’s original car. The facia has a veneer image of the original Bentley Blue Train Speed Six and the tread plate plaques bear the wording 'Blue Train 85 Years'/

The grille mesh has a square design inspired by original Speed Six.

CLASSIC COUPE: Bentley, to commemorate its former chairman Woolf Barnato's historic drive, has produced a limited edition model and called it the Mulsanne Speed Blue Train. Image: Bentley


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