Continuation models are a recent and neat phenomenon in the auto industry, where automakers will painstakingly recreate decades-old models using a blend of new and old technology for a very small number of lucky buyers. The latest model to join the what’s-old-is-new-again zeitgeist is Bentley’s revered pre-war race car, the Speed Six.
Bentley last week announced that it will create the Speed Six Continuation Series. Limited to just 12 examples, each with a starting cost of about $1.8 million, this is the second Bentley to be brought back from the dead, following the equally iconic Blower.
To recreate the Speed Six, Bentley created a 3D CAD model of the car using two reference models, in addition to original blueprints and other documents. One of the vehicles used as the reference is a road-legal model that its owner still takes to the track, while the other was plucked from Bentley’s own Heritage Collection.
Bentley Speed Six Continuation Is a $1.8 Million Piece of History
Bentley’s Mulliner division will handle the assembly. Speed Six parts aren’t exactly sitting on AutoZone shelves, so the company will be in charge of recreating all manner of components for this project. In its press release, Bentley says that some parts (it didn’t say which) will be created using the same methods that Bentley used in the 1920s.
While some automakers zhush up their continuation models with peppy new engines, Bentley is staying true to the Speed Six’s original motor. Under that impossibly long hood will be a 6.25-liter carbureted inline-6 engine producing approximately 180 horsepower. Bentley will keep the first vehicle it produces for its own collection, and it’s expected to be completed in the second half of 2022, when it will be used as an engineering test mule for models destined for private owners.
This is Bentley’s second foray into continuation models. The first, which, was unveiled in late 2020. It took nearly 40,000 hours to complete and required some 2,000 newly designed and hand-built parts.