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PRESS RELEASES 2012

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LEGENDARY BENTLEY SETS £4.5 MILLION AUCTION RECORD

  • Tim Birkin’s 4 ½ Litre Supercharged ‘Blower’ Bentley single seater sets new world best for a Bentley at Bonhams Goodwood auction
  • Beautiful Brooklands racing  machine underlines enduring appeal of the ‘Bentley Boy’ racing spirit

(Crewe and Goodwood, 29 June 2012)  Just 35 miles away from the fabled Brooklands race circuit where it astonished thousands of spectators eight decades ago by sprinting its way into the record books, Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin’s dramatic 4 ½ Litre Supercharged ‘Blower’ single seat racing machine returned to record-breaking form by reaching a sale price of £4.5 million when auctioned by Bonhams at the Goodwood Festival of Speed today. 

This new world-best for Birkin’s striking 240bhp supercharged red racer now outstrips the previous record by a Bentley at auction when the Speed Six known as ‘Old No 2’ achieved £2.8 million at the Le Mans Classic in 2004.

At its racing zenith and with the famously fearless and dashing ex-fighter pilot and Le Mans winner Birkin behind the wheel, this unique Bentley was one of the undoubted stars of the high-risk Outer Circuit at Brooklands.

In March 1932 Birkin set a record 137.96mph (219.93kmh) at Brooklands, a feat even a man renowned for pushing back the limits in motor sport would describe as hair-raising: “there are bumps which jolt the driver up and down in his seat and make the car leave the road and travel through the air,” said Birkin.

Commenting on the exploits of Birkin and his 4 ½ litre at Brooklands, Richard Charlesworth, Bentley’s Director of VIP and Royal Relations comments:

“Birkin along with his Bentley racing friends like Woolf Barnato, Dudley Benjafield and Glen Kidston were true sporting superstars, renowned not only for their driving ability and courage but living life to the full and in some considerable style. They would create the enduring legend of the Bentley Boy racer at Brooklands and Le Mans and this new record price for a Bentley achieved by Bonhams reflects the enduring respect and admiration for their story and their cars.”

For further information about this press release please contact:

Andrea Baker – Head of Media Relations
Andrea.Baker@bentley.co.uk
01270 536 430 or 07415 499 252

Richard Durbin – UK Public Relations Manager
Richard.durbin@bentley.co.uk
01270 535043 or 07950 705994

For further information on Bentley please go to www.bentleymedia.com

Twitter – @BentleyMotorsPR
YouTube – www.youtube.com/bentleymotors

Note to Editors

1. Bentley Motors is the third largest R&D investor in the UK's automotive sector and the 18th largest nationally. The company employs almost 4,000 people in Crewe which is home to all its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury vehicle manufacturers such as Bentley. It is also an example of high-value British manufacturing at its best. Bentley exports over £500m worth of goods every year to established markets like the US, as well as emerging markets such as China and South America.

2. Bentley’s global sales for Q1 in 2012 increased by 46.6% with 1,759 cars delivered to customers. This growth was led by the emergence of China as Bentley’s largest market in the first quarter with sales in the region up 84.9% (578 cars delivered). The Americas remain a key market for Bentley with sales up by 35.6% (468 cars delivered). In the Middle East sales recovered with an increase of 82.6% (168 cars delivered) and European sales also saw a 34.4% increase with 207 deliveries. Sales in the UK and Germany remain stable, with 233 cars and 62 cars delivered respectively.

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