Best Of The Old, Best Of The New

I believe it was Longtime Reader and Car Nut GT3Ted who once stated that his car of desire would be a 1920s-era Bentley (“Blower”) 4.5-liter monster.

Me, I’d hate it because of the extreme hassle of getting the thing started — it was a routine of astonishing complexity and irritation.

However, as Iain Tyrrell demonstrates, there are alternatives.  Sit back and enjoy watching a middle-aged man having his loins stirred by one of the greatest cars — and driving experiences — ever made by man.

As I said, I wouldn’t want one of the originals.  But Bob Peterson’s rumbling and snorting 6.5-liter B80 monster, in Iain’s words a faithful resto-mod / homage / “slightly more modern” / “vintage-esque” Bentley with its military-grade Rolls-Royce straight-8?

In a racing heartbeat, baby.

It makes all the other exotica in Iain’s garage look like effete little toys;  a manly 25-year-old single-malt Scotch compared to a girly cocktail with an umbrella and bits of fruit in it.



  1. Yes, that was me. It was a car I first learned about at age 15 reading the hard cover book that I found, much to my surprise, at the local Library. It was rumored to be a favorite of the current President Kennedy , so the library of course had copies of everything by the author available to be checked out. I very much doubt that the little old Biddy’s that ordered it had read it or even had any idea of the content. This was still at a time in Massachusetts when everything was closed on Sunday because church. I read the entire series, in order, in a matter of a few months.

    The book was Casino Royale by Ian Fleming, and the Blower Bentley was the original James Bond car, so of course I wanted one

    1. …. and I forgot to mention. If one of the original 77 cars are outside your budget, and you can’t quite justify one of Peterson’s Resto-Mods, the how about one of these.
      An 85% scale electric replica good for 60+_ miles at 45 mph or so. The originals are massive so most people won’t know the difference, except for the missing exhaust note.

  2. Ah, be still, my beating heart! The other year they had a whole collection of them at the Goodwood Revival. And they raced them! I shudder to think how many £millions were on the racetrack.

    The race itself was great fun to watch: for half the race they had to have the canopy up and many, if not most, canopies got blown down.

    1. Well …..they are ( were?) Le Mans wining race cars after all, so of course they raced them. and the revival grids regularly fields cars with eye watering values. I remember seeing someone bend up a $ 30 million dollar Ferrari. But with just a few millions in work would be good as new again.

  3. Just a photograph of it, sitting cold and still in a garage, but… you can hear it.

    1. OMG that Siata…

      “it doesn’t like to be driven slowly or conservatively. It needs to be driven with somewhat of an aggressive attitude. Once you get moving, you can’t sit back and relax when you drive the car.”

      If that isn’t a manly thing right there, I’ll kiss Hillary Clinton’s fat buttocks.

  4. Peter Sutcliffe used to take his Bentley up and down the N3 between PMBurg and Durban fairly often. More than once I was surprised to be passed to be passed by it driven in balls to the wall fashion.

  5. As a thing to drool over in your garage, maybe. Or do what most of them do now, get dragged out a few times a year for club events.

    Take it for a weekend drive in the country? That’s a pass thanks.

    Narrow cross ply tyres on 48 spoke wires.
    Ancient drum brakes.
    Fuel tank hanging out the back.
    Seat belts?
    Of course it’s a given there are no comforts, like a spare, a roof, windows or a heater.

    Too hard core for this grumpy old so and so….

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