1929 Napier-Bentley Production 1972 Body style Single-seater Layout FR layout Engine 24000 cc Napier Sea-Lion W12 Aero Engine Related Napier-Railton, Packard Bentley
The Napier Bentley is a vintage racing car; a one-off special built in 1968 by David Llewellyn. It was originally built on a Sunbeam chassis, but after a serious accident was re-built on the chassis of a 1929 8 Litre Bentley. It has a 24 Litre Napier Sea Lion W12 aeroplane engine (the same as that used in the silver Napier-Railton, which it resembles closely), which develops approximately 550 bhp (410 kW). It is seen regularly at historic racing events mostly in the United Kingdom, but has occasionally been used at some European events.
An attractive car, with its red bodywork and Napier-Railton-esque grille (which is actually based on the air scoop of the WW2 Hawker Typhoon fighter plane), it is spectacular and highly entertaining in action. Being a W12, the engine has three banks of four very large stub exhausts, one of which points straight out the side of the car. The sound of the car has been variously likened to a World War I biplane or as being akin to cluster or mortar bombs going off. Due to the immense torque of the engine (c.1400 ftlbs), the rear tyres can be made to produce clouds of smoke whenever the car is launched, while the exhausts produce sparks, flames, and smoke in equal measure. Naturally, the car is very popular with spectators whenever it appears.
Since 1999, the car has been owned by Chris Williams.
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