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First new Bentley Blower made in 90 years hits the road for 8,000 km of modern testing

The Bentley Blower Car Zero is the prototype for the Blower Continuation Series.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

After 40,000 hours of work, Car Zero has been assembled. It's the first prototype of the Bentley Blower Continuation Series, an exclusive run of hand-built vehicles that are a replica of the 1929 Bentley Blower.

The 12 customer cars, all already sold, will be crafted from design drawings and tooling jigs used for the original four Blowers built and raced by Sir Henry "Tim" Birkin in the late 1920s. Specifically, it Bentley's own team car (Chassis HB 3403, engine SM 3902, registration UU 5872 - Team Car #2) that serves as the master model.

The company has laser-scanned each part of the car to measurement accuracy - 1,846 individual parts. Of that, 230 are actual assemblies, one of which is the engine. When fixings and interior trim are counted, the number grows to several thousand total parts. Bentley Mulliner, the custom arm of the Crewe, England-based company, has been tasked with the build, working together with specialists and suppliers.

Bentley Blower Car Zero

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

A number of local producers have been tapped to assist with the builds. Israel Newton & Sons Ltd., a 200-year old company based near Derby, has created the car's heavy-gauge steel, hand-formed, and hot riveted chassis. The Vintage Car Radiator Company, based at Bicester Heritage, has crafted exact recreations of the some of the Blower's key components – including the mirror-polished, solid nickel silver radiator shell and the hand-beaten fuel tank formed in steel and copper.

West Midlands supplier Jones Springs Ltd, which has 75 years of experience under its belt, made leaf springs and shackles to the car's original specifications. The father and son team at Vintage Headlamp Restoration International Ltd in Sheffield recreated the Blower's headlamps while Ludlow-based Lomax Coachbuilders created a new ash frame for the car.

The Blower's new 4.5-liter engine was originally designed by Bentley Motors founder W.O Bentley (1888-1971). It's been recreated with the help of specialists including NDR Ltd in Watford.

Blower Car Zero is the prototype that will be dedicated to testing and development in advance of the 12 customer cars being built. The luxury automaker says that the car will be subjected to "months of durability and performance testing".

It wears a gloss black paint job and has an Oxblood red leather interior from Bridge of Weir. As per the original spec, the seats are stuffed with a total of 10 kilograms of natural horsehair. The 12 customer versions of the car have already been specified.

"Seeing Car Zero come together over the last weeks and months has been astonishing. The very latest digital design techniques came together with genuine artisanal hand-crafted artistry – often using manufacturing methods true to the 1920s. It's only through this fusion of old and new that we could craft these cars, with the skills of our engineers mirrored in those of our specialist suppliers. We've issued thousands of drawings and specifications for components, and watching them arrive into Mulliner and then seeing the car take shape has been hugely rewarding. Now we start the next phase – testing and development, ahead of the build of the 12 customer cars."

The Blower Continuation Series is the first customer-facing project delivered by the new Bentley Mulliner Classic portfolio, one of three new divisions of Mulliner alongside Coachbuilt (currently developing the Bacalar) and Collections (responsible for the Continental GT Mulliner).

Car Zero now goes on to face real-world durability testing including sessions of gradually increasing duration and speed that will also check the car's performance under harsh conditions. The program is designed to achieve the equivalent of 35,000 kilometres of real-world driving across 8,000 kilometers of track driving, and simulates the undertaking of rallies including the Peking to Paris and Mille Miglia.

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The Bentley Residences will be located on Sunny Isles Beach.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Sunny Isles Beach already owns the distinction as being the home to the most Rolls-Royces at one residence, the Acqualina Resort & Residences On The Beach. Now, a strip of oceanfront land that's halfway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale will be home to a new luxury development designed to fit with the lifestyle of luxury Bentley vehicle owners.

The world's first Bentley-branded residences have been launched in partnership with Dezer Development. They've been designed by Sieger Suarez Architects, a firm that has the Porsche Design Tower (18555 Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach), Trump Grande, and Residences by Armani/Casa in its portfolio.

The tower will be built at 18401 Collins Avenue, the current site of the Days Hotel by Wyndham Thunderbird Beach Resort.

Bentley Residences will contain more than 200 luxury apartments. The building will stand 749 feet and reach over 60 stories high, the same number of floors as the Salesforce tower in San Francisco and Franklin Center in Chicago. It's being billed as the tallest residential tower on any U.S. beachfront.

The residences are built-to-suit domiciles that will include an in-unit multi-car garage as well as ocean and bay views via floor-to-ceiling windows from each apartment. Homes will also have a private balcony, pool, sauna and outdoor shower. Interior amenities will include a gym, spa, whisky bar and restaurant. There will also be communal gardens.

"The modern and progressive brand identity of Bentley Residences is at work in both the tower's interior and exterior spaces, rooted in authenticity, sustainability and innovation," said Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors. "We've partnered with Dezer to create a living experience that expresses the very philosophy of the Bentley brand and stays true to our vision of inspiring extraordinary journeys."

Architects have designed the tower to include uninterrupted views of the ocean and the waterways and feature sustainable materials throughout with a focus on wellness. The project is being designed in accordance with the Florida Green Building Council (FLGC) certification. Additionally, designers plan to use reduced coastal lighting to protect endangered sea turtles.

Construction of the residences will begin in early 2023. They are schedule for completion in 2026.

"Partnering with Bentley Motors, a true global luxury brand and being able to create another first in the Miami marketplace is an extraordinary opportunity," added Gil Dezer, President of Dezer Development. "With Bentley Motors, together we will create something inspiring, powerful and iconic – a true game-changer when it comes to luxury living."

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