Author: Andy Brown, Ian Wagstaff, H6070, ISBN: 9781785210709, Hardback, Published in July 2017, 164 pages
The 4 1/2-litre Bentley, and in particular the supercharged 'Blower' model, has become the most famous example of the marque. Tim' Birkin's chase of Rudi Caracciola's Mercedes-Benz at Le Mans in 1930 is one of the most stirring stories in motor racing history.
This manual examines all aspects of the Bentley 41/2-litre as a racing car, including its success and failures in the 1920s and 1930s. Top racecar engineer Andy Brown has contributed a detailed examination of the car's anatomy, illustrated with original factory drawings and numerous detailed photographs. Memories from the Bentley's leading period drivers and mechanics are included, plus interviews with many of those who are involved in preparing and racing these iconic cars today.
The leading factory-raced cars are all identified and their details recorded, and the business of buying and running such a car today is covered in detail, with the stories of a number of cherished examples.
This in-depth study is a must for all those interested in motor racing between the wars — a period during which the Bentley 41/2-litre arguably typified the British sporting spirit. The book also provides a fascinating insight into the history of endurance racing, and how cars of of the Bentley's era have been preserved and can still be enjoyed some 90 years later.
■ The Bentley 4 1/2-litre story The racing history of the 41/2-litre Bentleys, including Le Mans and the story of Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin's supercharged 'Blowers'
■ Anatomy of the Bentley 4 1/2-litre Details of the car's components and evolution in both normally aspirated and supercharged form
■ The driver's view How the contemporary drivers felt about the car, including the thoughts of Sir Henry Birkin, 'Sammy' Davis and Dr Dudley Benjafield
■ The engineer's view Memories of the original 'Bentley Boys' plus stories of those involved in working on the cars today
■ Restoration and historic racing Buying and owning a Bentley 4 1/2-litre, historic racing and restoration projects
■ Individual chassis histories Outline histories of the
■ individual Bentley 4 1/2-litre cars raced by the factory
Andy Brown is a leading race engineer, and has worked in Formula One (with March, Leyton House and Brabham), Indycar, the BTCC, historic racing and at Le Mans. His success in America has included four Indianapolis 500 victories. Ian Wagstaff is a freelance journalist and twice winner of the Guild of Motoring Writers' Montagu of Beaulieu trophy, as well as its Pierre Dreyfus award and the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association 'Book of the Year'.