Bentley racing car, 1930.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model. The 4.5 litre Bentley with a supercharged four-cylinder engine, known as the Bentley 'Blower', was capable of speeds exceeding 125 mph. The engine has overhead valves that are operated by an overhead camshaft, and twin SU carburettors give the car what was then considered effective acceleration. This model represents the car driven by Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin and Jean Chasagne in the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 1930. The car failed to finish the race due to engine trouble. Walter Owen Bentley (1888-1971) began building the cars that bore his name at Cricklewood, London, in 1921, and the cars won at Le Mans five times in all between 1924 and 1930. By 1931 the company had run into financial difficulties and had been taken over by Rolls-Royce.