Bentley's Speed Six Continuation Series Starts Testing
The Bentley Speed Six Continuation Series begins durability testing, following the debuts of Car Zero and Factory Works cars.
Original pre-war Works Bentleys are being used as master models to verify dimensions, materials and components for the Speed Six Continuation Series, with every car handcrafted from scratch using period-correct tools, fixings and techniques based on original drawings and mechanics’ notes.
The new Speed Six Continuation Series has begun its main testing phase before customer builds begin, after the completion of the final Blower Continuation Series customer car.
In period, the two cars raced as friendly rivals; the Supercharged 4½ Litre ‘Blowers’ were prepared and entered by the Hon Sir ‘Tim’ Birkin’s private team, while the Speed Six was Bentley’s winning works entry for Le Mans in 1929 and 1930. Today, the build and preparation of both cars come under one roof in the workshops of Mulliner – Bentley’s bespoke and coachbuilding division. With all customer Blowers now complete and delivered, Mulliner’s focus turns to their second continuation project, with the first two cars (Car Zero and Factory Works) undertaking months of static and dynamic testing.
The decision to create 12 Continuation Series models each of the 4½ Litre Supercharged ‘Blower’ and the 6½ Litre Speed Six was not taken lightly. As custodians of a brand with over a century at the pinnacle of performance and luxury, the team knew that their work would be judged to the highest standards.
Starting in 2020, a project team of Bentley Mulliner engineers, craftspeople and technicians worked closely with noted British specialists and suppliers to create the world’s first pre-war continuation series. The response from customers, the public, and the media has more than justified their painstaking care. After a development process that took tens of thousands of hours, Continuation Series models present exactly as the originals would have done in 1930, save for minor items where changes are required to avoid illegality.
The continuation projects have triggered the relearning of lost skills within Bentley, with technicians and artisans young and old now equipped with the knowledge and experience needed to build and maintain pre-war Bentleys.