LONDON: The engine for the first car in Bentley Mulliner’s Blower Continuation Series has been fired up for the first time on a dedicated and specially-prepared testbed at Bentley’s Crewe factory.
The Blower Continuation Series is a run of 12 newly-built re-creations of one of the most famous Bentleys of all time – the supercharged 4.5-litre "Blower" created for racing by Sir Tim Birkin in the late 1920s.
Forming the world’s first pre-war continuation series, these 12 cars have all been pre-sold to Bentley collectors and enthusiasts around the world.
With the engineering prototype for the project – Car Zero – now in build, the first engine has been re-created by Bentley Mulliner with the support of specialists.
While the engine was being built, a team of Bentley engineers began work to prepare one of the four engine development testbeds at Bentley’s Crewe headquarters in the UK to receive the engine.
The engine test facility has been at Bentley since the factory was built in 1938, and the cells were originally used to run-in and power-test Merlin V12 aero engines produced by the factory for the Spitfire and Hurricane fighters of the Second World War.
The engines will be tested across a 20-hour cycle, gradually increasing both engine speed and load conditions from idle up to 3,500 rpm. Once each engine is fully run-in, a full-load power curve will be measured.
Once testbed running is complete, the next step for Car Zero’s engine will be real-world durability.
When the build of the car is complete it will start a programme of track testing – running for sessions of gradually increasing duration and speed, checking functionality and robustness under ever harder conditions.
The test programme is designed to achieve the equivalent of 35,000km of real-world driving across 8,000km of track driving, and simulates the undertaking of famous rallies such as Peking to Paris and Mille Miglia.