Of the proper, UK definition, Vintage vehicles built between 1919 and 1930 few hold the beholders gaze and ooze presence like an open tourer Bentley, today’s featured car the “Hawkeye Special” is the first of four Bentley specials I’ll be featuring on Sunday’s in January.
This particular car, a Red Label Speed model was built in 1924 with a 70 hp four cylinder, four valve per cylinder, 3 litre / 183 cui motor and first registered to a customer in Rochdale near Manchester on the 4th of June the same year.
Records show #477 was fitted with a 24 valve six cylinder 6 1/2 litre 140 hp motor, upgrading to the latest motor’s was common for any number of Bentley’s of this period.
In the early-1970s renowned Bentley builder John Guppy and Hawkeye “The Flying Swede” Wijkander upgraded the car with an 8 litre / 488 cui six cylinder motor, #TW2702 of the type that was launched prior to Bentley’s financial collapse in 1931. The original 8 litre motors were said to produce 220 hp the one on the Hawkeye Special is said to produce over 400 hp.
Guppy and Wijkander were responsible for the 2 seat coach work carried by #477, giving it the presence of a pit bull on steroids, as seen in these photo’s taken a couple of years ago by Geoffrey Horton at Dana Point Concours d’Elegance.
The huge motor allowed the drivers of the original two ton Bentley 8 litre models to drive at walking pace in top gear and then accelerate rate smoothly to a top speed of above today’s highway speed limits without effort.
The Hawkeye Special #477 was sold by RM Auctions for US$671,000 in August 2012.
My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing today’s photographs.
Thanks for joining me on this “Hawkeye Special” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a Protect-O-Top from Santa Clara CA. Don’t forget to come back now !
Brighton Speed Trials Under Threat of Permanent Cancellation !
In their infinite wisdom, Brighton & Hove City Council are seeking to ban the Brighton Speed Trials from 2014.
If you care about speed and or motorsport history, please sign this linked petition to save Brighton Speed Trials in 2014 and beyond.
It’s a faf to Register before signing, but relatively painless compared to loosing the event which has been run with few interruptions since 1905.
You do not need to be resident in Brighton or even the UK to sign.
More on Brighton Speed Trials on this link.
Thanks and please spread the word through whatever social media you have at your disposal.