Three Very Special Bentleys Once Commissioned By Woolf Barnato Will Be Part Of Salon Privé’s Bentley Celebrations
Salon Privé is now in its 14th year and has grown over the years to become an unmissable event on any car enthusiast’s calendar. This automotive garden party is held annually in the beautiful grounds of Blenheim Palace, and qualifies as one of the most picturesque automotive gatherings in the UK. This year will be that bit more special, especially for Bentley fans, as Salon Privé has a number of events planned to celebrate the marque’s 100th anniversary. Among the very special models headlining these celebrations are three 1930s Bentleys once commissioned and owned by Bentley Boy and former Bentley Motors chairman, Captain Woolf Barnato.
The first is a unique 1930 4½-litre “Blower” Bentley fitted with Gurney Nutting coachwork, now in a private American collection. This car came about when Barnato enlisted engineer Amherst Villiers to design a supercharger for the big four-cylinder motor to boost its performance. Around 55 of these 105mph+ Blower models were eventually built, 40 of which are known to exist today.
The second car (above right), a 1936 4 ¼-litre drophead coupe with coachwork by H. J. Mulliner, is no less impressive. It was delivered to Barnato’s Mayfair home on 6 July 1936. The body was originally fitted to a 3 ½-litre car, which was registered to Mrs. Woolf Barnato the year before but in this iteration had been repainted silver blue. It is a matching numbers car and has since been restored, though great care was taken to ensure that it remained as original as possible.
Finally, our favourite of the three (below): the 1934 Barnato Hassan Special, which is a single-seater commissioned specifically for racing. It initially featured a 6½-litre Bentley engine with two SU carburetors, on a short (11 foot) chassis, but in its second year it was fitted with a newly designed body and new 6-liter Bentley engine with triple SU carbs, which allowed Oliver Bertram to set a Brooklands lap speed record of 142.60mph.
David Bagley, Salon Privé co-founder and sales director commented, “What better way to celebrate the centenary of one of the greatest-ever British automotive marques than at Britain’s greatest palace, Blenheim Palace. With such global admiration for the marque, we’ve received entry forms from around the world but as is customary with Salon Privé, we always go for the very best and most influential models. Other than W.O. Bentley himself, no other person was more influential in Bentley’s history than Captain Woolf Barnato and so we are thrilled to have these three wonderfully unique examples of his participating in the event.”
Salon Privé will be run over the course of four days between 5th and 8th September. The Bentley Masters event will be celebrating the centenary on the 7th, and all Bentley owners are encouraged to attend what promises to be the biggest such celebration in the UK. More details of the weekend’s events are available on the Salon Privé website.
Images courtesy of Salon Privé