Bentley Barnato on the way…
Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6
You’re forgiven if you don’t know the name Babe Barnato or the origins of Speed 6, but both the name and term should be in your wheelhouse in the next 36 months. And lest you think Bentleys are old guys cars with no balls, read the Blue Train Bentley story below…
Based on the Bentley EXP 10 Concept, the likely name, Barnato, was copyrighted just a while back.
Strictly a two seater, it’s to be smaller, faster and more sporty than the Bentley GT family of 2+2’s.
Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Dashboard
Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Luggage Rack
Insiders think the 500 bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 from the Continental GT will power this car and just maybe the 12 cylinder motor creeps in as an option.
But leaks about an all electric version sound very real, making it a direct, although much upscale, rival to the Tesla S and inline with Porsche’s Mission E (http://jalopnik.com/porsche-mission-e-the-tesla-killer-only-porsche-could-1730586929).
Expect a price point north of $200,000 USD and on sale around 2019.
The Blue Train Bentley:
- The Speed Six name recalls the all-conquering sporting Bentleys of the late 1920s.
- The name Barnato makes reference to former Bentley chairman and three-time Bentley Le Mans 24 Hours winner Woolf Barnato, who competed in the race in 1928, 1929 and 1930. Barnato was known as one of the ‘Bentley Boys’ and remains one of few drivers to win every race he entered at Le Mans.
- And third was an insane race against a train, one of the most famous sprints ever:
Blue Train Bentley
One evening in March 1930, at a dinner at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, talk around the table had swung round to the topic of motor cars; in particular to the advertisement by Rover claiming that its Rover Light Six had gone faster than the famous “Le train bleu” express.
Woolf Barnato contended that just to go faster than the Blue Train was of no special merit. He raised the stakes by arguing that at the wheel of his own Bentley Speed Six, he could be at his club in London before the train reached Calais and bet 100 Pound Sterling on that challenge!
The next day, the 13 March 1930, as the Blue Train steamed out of Cannes station at 17:45h, Barnato, with one of his friends who had gallantly offered to act as a relief driver, took to the mighty Bentley and set off at the double.
From Lyons onwards they had to battle against heavy rain. At 4:20h, in Auxerre, they lost time searching for a refueling rendezvous. Through central France they hit fog, then shortly after Paris they had a burst tyre, requiring the use of their one and only spare. And yet, racing non-stop through the night along the bumpy, 1930s Routes Nationales, they reached the coast at 10:30h, sailed over to England on the cross-Channel packet, and were neatly parked outside The Conservative Club in St. James’s Street, London, by 15:20h – four minutes before the Blue Train reached Calais. He won the bet…whereupon the French authorities promptly fined him a sum far greater than his winnings – for racing on public roads.
Suddenly, I want to race a train.