Bentley Speed Six To Be Born Again, Just Twelve Will Be Made

A historic Bentley model is coming back to life. The Bentley Speed Six is the next vehicle the British automaker is creating a limited run of as part of its Continuation Series.

"After incredible levels of skill were acquired by the Mulliner team through the development of the Blower Continuation Series, and with the success of the cars with their customers, a chance to honour the Speed Six is a fantastic next step," said Bentley's chairman and chief executive, Adrian Hallmark.

"It's vital that we protect, preserve and develop not just this important part of our heritage, but also the knowledge we've gained through working with these classic Bentleys. The Speed Six is one of the most important Bentleys in our 103-year history, and the 12 cars of the Continuation Series will embody the same values as W.O. Bentley's originals, crafted by hand with the same meticulous attention both to engineering quality and to fanatical attention to detail."

Only 12 identical recreations of Speed Six models that won 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1929 and 1930 will be built by Mulliner, the oldest coachbuilder in the world.

The original Continuation Series model was the Blower, which was built in the same quantity and even spawned a child-size version.

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Speed Six is regarded as the most successful Bentley racing car of its era. In the 1929 Le Mans race, it topped the field with four other Bentleys coming in right behind it, finishing 174 laps.

The 1930 Le Mans event was the smallest in its history with just 17 cars competing. Speed Six models placed first and second in the race besting Alfa Romeo and Bugatti models.

First place finishes in the 1929 and 1930 races came from the same vehicle, which was piloted by Woolf Barnato, Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin and Glen Kidston.

Bentley vehicles that dominated racing during this time were powered by a large engine that been improved for higher performance, the result of a decision by W.O. Bentley who preferred higher capacity to supercharging. This moved the Bentley racing story from the 4.5-liter engine of the Blower to the 6.5-liter of the Speed Six.

Bentley Blower models raced alongside the Speed Six in the 1930 race.

New Six Speed vehicles will be powered by a 6.5-liter straight-six engine that delivers 200 brake-horsepower. The power plant propels the open-top car to a top speed of 125 miles per hour.

In its heyday, 362 examples of the models were built at Bentley's factory in Cricklewood, north London, on a variety of chassis that were designed to fit the individual needs of customers.

To deliver the 12 new models, Mulliner's team created a complete 3D CAD model of the original car, using original blueprints and detailed analysis of two original cars, one of which is "Old Number 3", the third of three Speed Sixes entered in the 1930 race.

Despite its age and racing history, the car has been immaculately preserved and continues to be fully road legal. It is raced by its current owner.

Bentley will begin assembling the new models in the second half of 2022.

The Six Speed lot is already fully allocated at the price of $1.842 million USD.