Tag Archives: Blower

Shadows and Reflections – Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic

Today’s post features some of the more off the wall stories behind last months Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic.

Bristol MW6G, Silverstone Classic

Greeting VIP’s in the VIP car park on the Friday was this 1962 Bristol MW6G (Medium Weight originally fitted 112hp Gardiner 8.4 litre 6HLW 6 cylinder engine). Royal Blue operated out of Bournemouth from 1880 to 1986, this coach is one of at least two owned by the White Brothers in Gaydon.

Jaguar XK150, Silverstone Auctions, Silverstone Classic,

On the Thursday I attended the auction, for the first time since the 1980’s, and among the lots was this 1958 non matching numbers Jaguar XK150 in need of a little TLC which sold for a tad over £20,000 pounds, or the price of a couple of brand new Dacia’s.

Cooper Monaco, Silverstone Auctions, Silverstone Classic,

Waiting ready to race was the Cooper Monaco chassis CM/2/59, its early history is unknown to me, but more recent owners have included Frank Sytner and Bristolian Ted Williams. The Cooper was bought for just short of £220,000 by Justin Maeers who claims he only popped in to the auction for the free beer. After Charles Gillet blew the engine in his Willment Climax the following day Justin came to an agreement to enter his newly acquired Cooper in it’s place for the Stirling Moss Trophy race. Starting from the back of the grid Justin unfortunately damaged the gearbox after just two laps.

Porsche 911 RSR, Cooke, Dowd, Silverstone Classic

When the heavens seriously started to open during qualifying on Friday many of us with camera’s caught in the rain went for some reflection shots, above the Martini liveried 1974 Porsche 911 RSR of Jeremy Cooke and Mike Dowd which qualified 32nd for the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car race was probably my best effort.

Shadow DN8, Jason Wright, Silverstone Classic,

It was a pleasant surprise to see not one but two recently restored 1977 Shadow DN8’s taking part in the FIA Masters Formula One race, above Jason Wright which has a two race history at the end of 1977 when Jean Pierre Jarier replaced Ricardo Patrese at the Canadian Grand Prix and finished 9th and Ricardo finished a non runing 10th at the US GP the following week.

Bugatti T35, Duncan Pittaway, Bentley Blower, J Ernst, Silverstone Classic,

Taking time off from running his monstrous show stealing FIAT S76 was Duncan Pittaway who is seen wheeling his #13 Bugatti T35 passed the #47 Bentley Blower driven by J Ernst on his way to a 7th place finish in the Kidston Trophy for pre war cars, from 8th on the grid.

Arrows Megatron A10B, Mike Wilds, Silverstone Classic,

Demonstrating the Turbo Megatron (BMW) powered Arrows A10B was the severely underrated Mike Wilds who just made it to Formula One with the struggling Ensign team then to BRM when BRM was collapsing and since then he has been racing all manor of vehicles including a Shadow DN3, Can Am BRM, Production Saloon 16 Valve Mercedes Benz 190 and numerous Sports and Group C cars at Le Mans.

BMW 3.0 CSL, Peter Mullen, Ford Cologne Capri, Rick Wood, Silverstone Classic

Alpina, celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year, took a famous RAC Tourist Trophy at Silverstone in 1973 when Derek Bell and Austrian Harald Ertl driving an Alpina BMW 3.0 CSL claimed a 3 lap vicotry over solo driver Jochen Mass in a works Ford RS2600 Cologne Capri, on this occasion Ric Wood in the 1974 24 valve RS3100 Capri got the better of Peter Mullen in the Alpina BMW on their way to finishing 20th and 24th in the Super Touring Car Trophy.

Rover BRM, Silverstone Classic

Completely unannounced the Rover BRM which Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart drove to a 10th place finish in 1965 came whistling by on a demonstration lap, I have no idea who the driver was.

Bristol MW6G, White, Silverstone Classic

Finally the White brothers 1966 Hants & Dorset Bristol MV6G was on VIP duty all day on Saturday.

Thanks for joining me on this “Shadows And Reflections” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another 1975 Formula One contender. Don’t forget to come back now !


Recreation Racer – Peterson Supercharged 6.5 litre Road Racer

Tucked away in deepest Devon Peterson Engineering is a globally respected purveyor of hand made components for vintage Bentley cars.

Bentley Mk VI, Peterson SC Special, Goodwood Revival

The rural business run by Bob Peterson also has a fine reputation for restoring, rebuilding and recreating vintage Bentley Motor Cars.

Bentley Mk VI, Peterson SC Special, Goodwood Revival

Today’s featured Peterson Supercharged 6.5 litre Road Racer is a recreation of the famous methanol burning red Bentley Blower Tim Birkin drove at Brooklands from 1929 to 1932.

Bentley Mk VI, Peterson SC Special, Goodwood Revival

This car like many Petersen Specials relies on a 400 hp 6.5 litre 406.5 cui supercharged 8 cylinder Rolls Royce motor for power in place of the donor cars original 6 cylinder normally aspirated Bentley motor.

Bentley Mk VI, Peterson SC Special, Goodwood Revival

Like last Sunday’s Blue Velvet Special the Peterson Special is built around a Bentley Mk VI chassis in this case one of the last delivered in 1953.

Bentley Mk VI, Peterson SC Special, Goodwood Revival

Along with, Limited Slip Differential (LSD), dual circuit hydraulic disc brakes and fully adjustable suspension the Petersen Supercharged 6.5 litre Road Racer is fitted with Dunlop Racing tyres.

Thanks for joining me on this “Receation Racer” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Forced Induction Push – Bentley 4 1/2 litre #DS3573

Following the disappointments of it’s Le Mans appearances from 1925 to 1926, after the success with the 3 litre / 183 cui cars in 1924 Bentley employed his maxim ‘there is no substitute for cubic inches’ to his new prototype Le Mans challenger, known as “Old Mother Gun”, for 1927 by fitting it with a 4 1/2 litre / 319.5 cui motor.

Bentley 4 1/2 litre, Brooklands Double 12

During the 1927 running of the endurance classic there was a six car pileup involving five of the leading cars; two Théophile Schneiders, an Ariés two three litre Bentleys and the 4 1/2 litre Old Mother Gun which Leslie Callingham rolled into a ditch having chosen to avoid a head on collision.

Bentley 4 1/2 litre, Brooklands Double 12

With the 4 1/2 litre car out of the running the race was won by the 3 litre Bentley of Dr. Dudley Benjafield and Sammy Davis, the last car to arrive at the scene of the accident, after repairs had been effected that included the judicious use of string to hold one of the front wings and the team used a pocket torch to replace the damaged head light !

Bentley 4 1/2 litre, Brooklands Double 12

“Old Mother Gun” was subsequently repaired and Woolf Barnato driving with Bernard Rubin came out winners of the 1928 Le Mans 24 hours after a race long duel with the more powerful 8 cylinder Stutz DV16 Blackhawk driven by F Éduoard Brisson and Robert Bloch.

Bentley 4 1/2 litre, Brooklands Double 12

By this time Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin” who shared the forth placed 4 1/2 litre Bentley with Jean Chassagne at Le Mans in 1928 was convinced the way forward was to build light cars with super chargers. With the tacit agreement of Bentley’s chairman Woolf Barnato and independent finance from Dorothy Paget. Birkin set about building 55 supercharged four cylinder 4 1/2 litre Bentley’s, commonly referred to as Blower Bentleys, against the wishes of designer W.O. Bentley who simultaneously built a new Speed Six model for 1929 complete with straight six cylinder 6 1/2 litre 396.5 cui motor.

Bentley 4 1/2 litre, Brooklands Double 12

Such was W.O. Bentley’s opposition to the idea of supercharging, which had been tried on a 3 litre Bentley built 1926/7, that he refused to countenance the modification of the Bentley 4 1/2 litre motor in any way that would allow Birkin to mount the supercharger along side the 4 cylinder block with the result that the only place the superchager could be fitted was ahead of the front axle line so that it could be driven from the front of the crankshaft.

Bentley 4 1/2 litre, Brooklands Double 12

This mounting position and it’s attendant weight adversely affect the cars propensity to understeer / push where as the new Speed Six had all the weight of it’s motive power mounted between the axles.

Bentley 4 1/2 litre, Brooklands Double 12

Ironically the Speed Six model was ready before the Blower Bentley and Tim Birkin shared a Speed Six, known as Old Number One, with Woolf Barnato to easily win the 1929 Le Mans 24 hours ahead of three unsupercharged 4 1/2 litre Bentley’s.

Bentley 4 1/2 litre, Brooklands Double 12

The Bentley Blowers were ready for 1930 and three cars were entered by the Hon. Miss Dorothy Paget, including one for Sir Tim co driving with Jean Chassagne in the 1930 Le Mans 24 hours, but none were running at the finish. Woolf Barnato now sharing the Speed Six Old Number One with Glen Kidston meanwhile led home a Speed Six one two finish. Strategically playing the hare for the highly fancied supercharged 7.1 litre / 433 cui Mercedes Benz of Rudolf Caracciola and Christian Werner to catch and forcing the German car to run at a faster pace than would have been ideal, Birkins Bentley Blower contribute to the Mercedes Benz premature retirement and indirectly to Barnato and Kidston’s victory.

Bentley 4 1/2 litre, Brooklands Double 12

At the end of 1930 Dorothy Paget withdrew her support for Birkin’s Blowers and in 1931 despite 4 consecutive Le Mans Wins and 5 wins since 1923 Bentley was forced to sell out to Rolls Royce. This however was not quite the end of the Bentley Blower story as a special single seater Blower Bentley that Birkin has built in 1929, chassis HB3402 was just hitting it’s stride at Brooklands leaving the lap record at 137.96 mph in 1932.

Bentley 4 1/2 litre, Brooklands Double 12

In 1931 Sir Tim returned to Le Mans to co drive Lord Howe’s Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 LM and together they became the first drivers to win the 24 hour race with a supercharged car comfortably beating the much larger supercharged 7.1 litre Mercedes Benz SSK driven by Boris Ivanowski and Henri Stoffel by seven laps.

Today’s featured car looks and sounds like a Bentley Blower, but was supplied new in 1929 to Sir L.Lyle with a saloon / sedan body by HJ Mulliner with an unsupercharged 4 1/2 litre motor. The car was rebuilt with an open tourer body as seen today in 1973 when #DS3573 competed in the Scottish Weekend Whit Rally with flying colours.

The supercharger appears to have been first seen on chassis #DS3573 in 2005. Just after these photo’s were taken at Brooklands last year, five time Le Mans winner, Derek Bell drove the car at the Le Mans Classic with owner Martin Overington supported by a three man pit crew, comprising three ex service men injured in combat, on behalf of the Misson Motorsport charity.

Thanks for joining me on this “Forced Induction Push” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” which happens to be the 1000th GALPOT posting. My thanks to all those who have contributed and stayed with me on this journey, especially those who have liked and spread the word on their social media pages. I hope you will join me for the first of the next 1000 GALPOT posts again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !