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Car of the Month

Car of the Month 

The Bentley 4.5 Litre

   

Our car of the month is no ordinary car, it combined the best of performance and style and outshone the rest at the 1928 Le Mans. In its time it achieved things that were seen as impossible and is still today a highly respected and sought after car. Of course we are talking about the Bentley 4.5 litre. 
 

First assembled in Cricklewood, 1927, the Bentley 4.5 litre was an advancement on the existing 3 litre model. With a sole purpose to create a more powerful car for personal transport, Walter Owen Bentley achieved exactly that through increasing its engine displacement to 4.4 litre.
 

The engine was advanced and modern for its time, the displacement was 4,398 cc, 100 mm bore and 140 mm stroke with two SU carburettors and dual ignition and fitted with Bosch magnetos. The engine produced 110 hp for the touring model and 130 hp for the racing model. Reaching speeds to 4,000 rpm, the four valves per cylinder were a reach above the rest in a period where most cars only used two valves per cylinder. As on the 3 litre Bentley the camshaft was driven by bevel gear on a vertical shaft at the front of the engine.

       

Built on a rolling steel latticed chassis the British-based Bentley 4.5 litre allowed buyers to create unique vehicles through changing body styles, with saloon and tourers being favourited. Weighing a whopping 1,625 kg with a length of 4,380 mm the Bentley 4.5 litre was a spacious ride for passengers that demanded very little from its driver being well-balanced and good steering. Equipped with a canvas top stretched over a lightweight Weymann Body, the hood structure was light but wind resistant.

The high performance engine, good handling and high wind resistance contributed to the success of Le Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe in 1928 defeating competition from the likes of Bugatti and Lorraine-Dietrich. A Le Mans victory quickly elevated Bentley’s reputation and lead to further advancements and models. 
Like the 3 litre the 4.5 litre was followed by successors including the popular Bentley Blower and Bentley 6.5 litre. In November 1931 after selling 720 models the 4.5 litre was pulled from the production line. Now in its 88th year there are only a small fraction of 4.5 litres are left in todays market making the Bentley 4.5 litre well know as one of Bentley's rarest cars.

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