Your eyes do not deceive you. This is a brand-new Bentley even though it doesn't look like it. In fact, it's from 1930 -- a prewar car. What gives? The seen here is the first completed prototype for a continuation series of 12 cars the British company will build. And it's really awesome.
The automaker revealed "Car Zero" on Wednesday and said the process took 40,000 hours and involves almost 2,000 newly designed and hand-built parts. Bentley doesn't exactly have stamps and dies for cars like these. Of the parts, 230 of them are assemblies for other components. And if you want to dive into the interior parts and trims, there are thousands of new pieces Bentley designed and built to make the "new" Blower come to life. It's a good thing Bentley owns an original 1929 Blower. The team performed a 3D scan to help create so many of the new components. This also involved a lengthy -- but careful -- teardown of the car to scan everything.
With that work done, Bentley tasked Israel Newton & Sons with the chassis. The company often works with locomotives, but it handled the job of hand-forming and hot-riveting the chassis made from steel. Bentley also worked with the specialists at NDR to create an exact recreation of the 4.5-liter engine that powered all original Blowers. That includes the roots-type supercharger, which was way ahead of its time.
Car Zero won't be going to any owner, but instead, it will serve as a durability test car to make sure all the recreated parts work as they should. The tests will include 21,000 miles of real-world driving and another 5,000 miles worth of track testing to recreate some of the races the original Blowers dominated almost 100 years ago. When Bentley gives everything the green light, it will start production of the 12 cars. Of course, the company presold each of them, and the future owners have already worked with Bentley to specify everything to their liking.