Bentley Speed Six

November 13th, 2011 | Bentley | bentley speed six


In 1928 Bentley presented Bentley Speed Six to the public, the sport version of Bentley 6 1/2L with a little bit shorter wheelbase, twin carburetors, lighter body and the capacity of 180-200 hp (Depending on the degree of compression). This car is considered to be the best of produced by the company during 1920-1931.


This model became a real legend of motor racing, having won nine awards in three years: twice at prestigious 24 hour of Le Mans racing and three times in famous Brooklands, a motor racing circuit built in Surrey, England. In 1929 at Le Mans Speed Six dominated from the very start to the finish line, and the only rivals were the other three 4.5-liter Bentley, which won the second, third and fourth places.


After well-known story happened with this car Speed Six was nicknamed "Blue Train Bentley". Woolf Barnato who was the captain of Bentley Boys team and the owner of diamond mines in South Africa sponsored Bentley in the late twenties.


In order to teach a lesson for the rival firm, which announced that its cars could outrun high-speed "Blue Train" express, moving from Cannes to London,  Barnato made a bet and next day drove from Cannes simultaneously with the train and arrived to London six minutes earlier the express reached the English Channel.


It took "Blue Train Bentley" 14.2 seconds to reach the speed of 100 km / h while the top speed was 135 km / h.  In honor of this victory, the designer Gurney Nutting made the three-seat (for three Bentley Boys: Woolf Barnato, "Tim" Birkin, and Glen Kidston) fastback based on the 6-cylinder Speed Six car. It was a special order of Barnato, who named the car "Blue Train Special".


Despite its racing technical characteristics, Bentley Speed Six had a sufficiently soft ride that allowed it being used as a road car. Two of these cars were even used by the police of Australia from 1930 to 1947 and considered to be the fastest. Bentley Speed Six car no doubt has one of the most interesting and rich with bright events history of all the company's models.