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Speed Six 'Blue Train Special'
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  Bentley Speed Six 'Blue Train Special'      

  Article Image gallery (26) HM2855 Specifications User Comments (7)  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1930
Numbers built:1
Designed by:Gurney Nutting
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 06, 2016
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Click here to download printer friendly versionOf all the cars he had developed W.O. Bentley reserved a special spot for the Speed Six first introduced in October of 1928. In the following two years the Speed Six competition cars were virtually unbeatable despite facing strong opposition even from within his own ranks. Many of the road cars received lavish and/or stately coachwork by the likes of Gurney Nutting and Hooper. Only 182 examples were produced and today rank as the finest cars ever produced by Bentley.

Like almost all Bentleys produced under W.O.'s reign, the Speed Six could trace its roots back to very first '3 Litre' built in 1919. Its more immediate relative was the 6 1/2 Litre model launched in 1926. This was the first six cylinder engined Bentley. It was created to give the demanding customer the option of fitting more luxurious and as a result heavier coachwork on the highly acclaimed Bentley chassis. With its three-litre, four-cylinder engine, the first Bentley worked best with more modest 'Tourer' bodies.

From its smaller cousin, the new straight six Bentley engine inherited most design features. The complicated but beautiful valve-train consisted of a single camshaft operating four valves per cylinder. This was housed in an iron head that was cast in unit with the block and mount an aluminium-alloy crankcase. A bore of 100 mm and a stroke of 140 mm yielded a swept displacement of 6.6 litre. Breathing through a single carburettor, the new engine produced 147 bhp but enough torque to stop the earth from spinning.

The ladder-frame chassis was of a more conventional design. On both ends solid axles were fitted complete with semi-elliptic leaf springs and hydraulic shock absorbers. Massive drum-brakes were fitted to slow the heavy beast down. The power was transferred to the rear wheels through a four-speed gearbox. This rolling chassis was available in a variety of lengths to accommodate all of the discerning customers' needs. A total of 363 examples of the 'standard' 6 1/2 Litre Bentley were constructed.

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  Article Image gallery (26) HM2855 Specifications User Comments (7)