Blower Bentley

1931 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 13, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The first Bentley was the 3-Litre model. In 1927, W.O. Bentley increased the displacement of the car and it became the 4½-Litre (the larger 6½-Litre was already on sale). These cars competed at Le Mans with the legendary “Bentley Boys” at the helm. One of them won it in 1928.

Then in 1929, Bentley and one of his engineers, Amherst Villiers, strapped a supercharger to the 4.4-liter straight-four. The Blower Bentley was born and it was an instant legend, setting several speed records. Horsepower jumped to 175 compared to the 110 from the normal car. Speeds of 100 mph were easily achieved, even on open roads.

This car originally carried a sedan body – one of three such cars delivered. Bentley had to homologate this model for racing, so 50 had to be built (and they were). This was the last of the first batch of 25 cars. The second owner wrecked it in 1935 and when Bentley rebuilt it, the engine was split from the car and fitted to a 3-Litre chassis. In 1984, the owners of the car decided to put it back the way it was supposed to be.

They sourced as many of the original parts as they could including the correct engine. It was re-bodied in Vanden Plas Tourer form and the project wrapped up in 1993. With two owners since, this rare and highly desirable Blower Bentley should bring between $2,700,000-$3,300,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ lineup.

Update: Sold $2,654,569.

Th. Schneider Tourer

1921 Th. Schneider 4.5-Litre Tourer by Domain

Offered by RM Auctions | Paris, France | February 5, 2013

1921 Th. Schneider 4.5-Litre Tourer by Domain

Rochet-Schneider was one of the earlier French automobile manufacturers, setting up shop in 1894. One of the co-founders, Theophile Schneider, left the company in 1910 and started building cars under his own, abbreviated, name.

The 4.5-litre model used a – you guessed it – 4.5-liter straight-six. It was the biggest car the company made and they were powerful and fast cars. This one is all-original and was one of three six-cylinder Th. Schneiders imported new into Australia. The engine was rebuilt in 2012, but this is believed to be the only running six-cylinder Th. Schneider with its original body – which was constructed on this chassis by a coachbuilder in Melbourne in 1921.

Th. Schneider stopped production in 1929, with cars selling on through 1931. In 1932, Rochet-Schneider also closed its doors. These cars are quite rare and to find one in this good of original condition is practically impossible. It should sell for between $135,000-$205,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s Paris lineup.

Update: Sold $82,464.

Invicta Bluebird

1931 Invicta 4½-Litre S-Type Low-Chassis Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, England | September 15, 2012

Invictas – especially the low-chassis models – are some of the sportiest cars of the era. They are aggressive looking with a low center of gravity, meaning handling and road holding were areas were Invicta cars excelled over their competitors – which included Bentley and Lagonda, among others. The cars were expensive and only about 1,000 Invicta cars of all models were built.

This is a 4.5-liter S-Type meaning the engine is a 4.5-liter straight-six that has been supercharged to produce speeds capable of 100 mph. All Invictas used Meadows engines built by Henry Meadows (except the first three prototypes). The supercharged Meadows six was a torquey monster – you can drive this car in top gear down to 6 mph!

Invictas never saw the racing success of Bentley. They went after a different niche – cars that could be throttled by their owners – just wrung out. High speeds for extensive distances with no wear or tear. The cars were so solidly built that 68 of the 77 S-Types built still survive.

This car, nicknamed “Bluebird,” has known ownership history since the 1960s and a three-year restoration was completed in 2011. It’s kind of weird, but pre-war cars were available in many different guises: big tourers, racing cars, etc. But this is a sports car. It’s made to go fast – but it’s not a competition car. There aren’t a lot of pre-war cars that are worthy of this designation. And this is among the best of them. The pre-sale estimate is $870,000-$1,100,000. For more information, click here. And for more from Bonhams at Goodwood, click here.

Update: Not Sold.