Bentley 3 Litre
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 5
Ettore Bugatti once described the Bentley 3 litre as "The fastest lorry in the world". This awesome 2+ tonne monster won 5 times at the Le Mans 24 Hour between 1924 and 30 in various forms, perhaps proving to Bugatti that trucks at the time were also more reliable than motor cars!
The original car was simply called the "3-litre". Powered by an extraordinarily large four-cylinder engine displacing 3 litres, it employed a single overhead camshaft actuating 4 valves
Delivering about 70 reliable horsepower, the 3-litre won Bentley the first Le Mans in 1924. In 1927 Bentley engineers increased the engine size to 4.5 litres, whereupon the Bentley took back-to-back Le Mans titles in 1927 and 28.
In 1929 Bentley upgraded the motor to a 6.5-litre six-cylinder engine. Dubbed the "Speed Six", it won another two Le Mans in 1929 and 1930.
But there was still one more famous derivative which never won any races - the Bentley Blower. Developed using the 4.5-litre 4 cylinder motor, a supercharger was added to pump out a blistering 175 hp, which in turn pushed the car to 125 mph.
That was the fastest version and naturally is the most desirable Bentley to car collectors, although in its day it was not reliable enough to win any significant races.