1953 Bentley “Blue Train” Recreation By Canepa
- November 4, 2019
- Posted by Simon Streich
Bentley is known far and wide as one of the longest-running automotive manufacturers still in existence and operating to this day.
During those 100 years of automobiles, many legends have been born and racing drivers created by the historic marque, but some are more legendary than others. One of the most famous stories of them all is the Bentley Special “Blue Train” and its driver Woolf Barnato, racing a steam engine across the French countryside in toiling weather conditions. That 1930 car and race inspired a limited line of authentic and exacting recreations almost 80 years later, built by European craftsman Racing Green Engineering. Created to exacting standards to ensure that even the smallest details are correct, the result is the exact recreation of a legendary Bentley that you can own and drive.
Woolf Barnato was a well-known playboy millionaire, heir to a South African diamond and gold mine, an international sportsman, and one of the original “Bentley Boys.” He became chairman of Bentley Motors and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in both 1928 and 1929. The story of the Blue Train car is from the famous French express train, which Barnato wagered to his friends that he could beat the train from Cannes all the way to Calais, the opposite side of France. Knowing that Barnato was exceptional behind the wheel, none took the bet but Barnato went ahead with the challenge anyway. With his friend in tow for relief driving, both the Bentley and train left at 5:45pm destined for Calais. Braving dirt roads, caught in downpouring rain, and finding the pre-arranged fuel pit spots in the night wasn’t enough to stop them, driving a total of 570 miles in the night. They reached Calais at 10:30am and decided to continue onto London by getting on a ferry and crossing the English Channel. Barnato and his friend parked his Speed Six outside of the Conservative Club in St. James’ Street at 3:20pm after the grueling 700-mile journey. Just four minutes later, the Blue Train arrived at the station in Calais.
Report by canepa.com