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2012-07-02 09:05

ANOTHER HEYDAY FOR CLASSIC BENTLEY RACER: Tim Birkin's Bentley 'Blower' (inset) was renowned for its on-track antics in the Bentley Boys' glory days, but it's now set a record for the highest price reached on auction for a Bentley.

A 4.5-litre supercharged “Blower” Bentley has just set a new record for reaching the sale price of £4.5 million (around R57.6 million) at the weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The single seater was previously driven into the record books by Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin in March, 1932 when he cracked 219.93km/h at Brooklands in the 179kW supercharged red racer.

At the time, Birkin described the experience by saying: “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.”


In the Blower’s latest feat, the racer sold for the equivalent of R60-million at auction which, back in those days, could probably have bought a whole city.

It was auctioned by Bonhams at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

This new world-best for Birkin’s supercharged racer now outstrips the previous record by a Bentley at auction when the Speed Six known as “Old No 2” achieved £2.8-million at the Le Mans Classic in 2004.

Richard Charlesworth, Bentley’s director of VIP and royal relations said: “Birkin along with his Bentley racing friends like Woolf Barnato (son of "Randlord" Barney Barnato),  Dudley Benjafield and Glen Kidston were true sporting superstars, renowned not only for their driving ability and courage but living life to the full and in some considerable style.

"They would create the enduring legend of the Bentley Boy racer at Brooklands and Le Mans and this new record price for a Bentley achieved by Bonhams reflects the enduring respect and admiration for their story and their cars.”

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