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This isn't a Blower, is it?


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#1 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 15:46

This, I am reliably informed by an Ian Fleming collector, comes 33 seconds into the US release of the bizarre 1967 version of 'Casino Royale', in which most of the vast ensemble cast play James, or even Jimmy, Bond!

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It may look like it has a Villiers supercharger on the front, but the base of the chassis looks too high, the exhaust seems odd, and the back end of the car just appears to fizzle out.

But if it's not a Blower Bentley which David Niven is parking outside No 10, then what is it?

All help gratefully received!

Rgds

Paul

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#2 Allan Lupton

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 18:29

This may give you an idea of the proportions of the front of a Birkin Blower (with Birkin driving!)

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#3 fines

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 18:48

Originally posted by P0wderf1nger
But if it's not a Blower Bentley which David Niven is parking outside No 10, then what is it?

A Hollywood prop?

#4 f1steveuk

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 19:11

I wouldn't stake my career on it (such as it is!) but if (and I mean IF) it's a Bentley it is likely to be a MK VI Special of some description, but the height of the chassis rails go to toward the front axle, that suggests much like Chitty Chitty and Fab 1, "prop" cars, built on commercial chassis..................

#5 David Birchall

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 19:19

I think it may actually be a real vintage Bentley! The chassis looks very like a 3 litre and the engine and exhaust positions would be correct too. The blower is almost certainly a dummy. A quick scan of Michael Hay's book "Bentley: The vintage years" did not reveal a lead to which car it is. The film was made in England in 1965/66 and had an enormous budget. It would not have been expensive to buy a 'cut and shut' Bentley special at that time. This thread caused me to look up "Casino Royale" on the net and now I have to watch it again! Peter Sellers was a pain in the a** apparently!

#6 RTH

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 19:54

It may be largely genuine vintage Bentley parts ( apart from the body ) But I doubt it ever left either Cricklewood or Broadwater Road , Welwyn , ever looking anything like that. Very short wheelbase, body looks out of proportion , headlights too big and non period looking.Radiator and bonnet look 3 litre.What we are looking at may well have started life as a saloon as so many tourers did with maybe a 60s body designed without any reference to a past model.

...........I don't suppose it is Number 10 either !!

This is what it should look like to be a 4 1/2 litre Blower Bentley

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#7 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 20:02

Originally posted by Allan Lupton
This may give you an idea of the proportions of the front of a Birkin Blower (with Birkin driving!)

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That is a wonderful shot of Birkin in the Blower. It's from the 1930 French GP at Pau, as he tries to hunt down Etancelin in the Bugatti. He failed by some three minutes, but Etancelin was down to his last litre of fuel, and only one of six retaining bolts still held his clutch together...

Do you see the fruit the gallant Sir Henry is sucking on?

Rgds

Paul

#8 RStock

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 20:20

A couple of links to help

http://www.motivemag...ames_Bond.shtml


http://www.jamesbond...x_cars.php?m=au

#9 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 21:01

Many thanks Redarmysoja, very interesting links which brought a smile to my face.

I see I'm going to have to watch the wretched film again. It has nothing to do with the splendid novel of the same name, and must have had Ian Fleming turning in his grave.

Rgds

Paul

#10 D-Type

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 21:26

Originally posted by f1steveuk
I wouldn't stake my career on it (such as it is!) but if (and I mean IF) it's a Bentley it is likely to be a MK VI Special of some description, but the height of the chassis rails go to toward the front axle, that suggests much like Chitty Chitty and Fab 1, "prop" cars, built on commercial chassis..................

Ironically, if it is a Mk VI special it is verging on being accurate. In the books didn't 007 drive a postwar Bentley which, against the advice of Bentley's he had supercharged? Or was it a Derby Bentley?

Edit: Having read REDARMYSOJA'S links I see that he drove a genuine blower Bentley in the Casino Royale book, but I'm sure he drove the hybrid in one of the later ones. But it is a long long time since I read a Bond book.

#11 onelung

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 23:12

This doesn't look "right" to me at all: I'd say the radiator looks more like that of a 3 litre - that's if it is a Bentley at all....
Try this link http://www.imcdb.org...er-Special.html and see if you can open the "front on" thumbnail shot (I can't, for some reason). Good luck.
Reading the story of the film's making, I can only conclude what a p***k Sellers must have been. Little wonder that Milligan had his problems while working with him.

#12 RStock

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 23:53

Originally posted by P0wderf1nger
Many thanks Redarmysoja, very interesting links which brought a smile to my face.

I see I'm going to have to watch the wretched film again.


EGADS !!! Don't do anything that drastic ! :lol:

But if you do , see if you can spot Sir Stirling Moss's Cameo appearance .


I'm just wondering exactly what that thing in the photo is .

Research has determined it is supposed to be a Supercharged " Bentley Special " 4.5 litre . That's from a "movie" source , so take that with a grain of salt .

Here's a couple of photo's of 1930 Bentley Blower's .



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They don't seem to jibe with the photo above . I'm begining to think that fines is right , it's a movie prop car . Perhaps another non-blower Bentley dummied up to look like a blower ? A 1929 maybe ?

#13 Sebastian Tombs

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 01:13

Cut to Niven-Bond driving what looks like a stovepipe on wheels,



All is explained

here!!

Maybe!

#14 Terry Walker

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 01:28

Looks like a 3-litre with a 50s' body copied from an MG (slab tank, look at that door shape), and a dummy supercharger.

Into the 60s and 70s it was still possible to find cheap 3-litre Bentleys, converted in the 50s from sedans with very ropey sporty "coachwork". (Not all 3-litres were the classic Vandenplas open tourers; many were two- and four-door sedans). Most if not all of those dodgy conversions now have high quality modern reproductions of the Vandenplas tourers.

Shades of "Grand Prix".

#15 David Birchall

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 02:10

I spent a little time perusing Ray Roberts "Bentley Specials and Special Bentleys" vol 2 but found no reference to this car which is rather damning.... But I still think it might be a 3 litre with a dummy blower and "boy racer" bodywork from the fifties. As I said in my earlier post they had a huge budget for this movie: Apparently, following a comment from director John Huston he returned to the set to find a replica of the Taj Mahal had been constructed at a cost of 30,000 pounds! He had no use for it and it was scrapped!!

#16 RStock

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 02:38

Here are the photo's from the links in the post by onelung . Posted Image



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It looks a lot like the car in the first post . I suppose it could be a special order , or perhaps just a rebuilt Bentley . Or specially built for the movie and someone still owns it ? If it's still around maybe someone will come forward with info . I haven't seen any other Bentley's that look like it either . I dunno .:confused:

#17 ahe

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 02:40

It is a 3-litre all right. The engine has the pre 1926 circa semi dry sump oil tank/reservoire clearly visible in the picture. Also the radiator and frame looks very much original 3-litre.

Ciao

/ahe

#18 onelung

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 11:28

Originally posted by REDARMYSOJA

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Thanks for cracking the images - and don't the headlights look a bit like modern(ish) units set within larger surrounds?

#19 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 11:59

Originally posted by REDARMYSOJA

... see if you can spot Sir Stirling Moss's Cameo appearance

I understand he plays a taxi driver who, when instructed in time-honoured fashion to 'follow that car', sets off on foot!

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#20 Gav Astill

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 12:23

I'll put you all out of your misery...

The car in the photo started life in January 1923 as standard 3 litre Bentley (chassis number 155), first recorded owner a Mr M A Annett. It's original body isn't known but it was rebuilt by Automarine in 1949 with the HM Bentley-style body seen here and a replacement 3 litre engine. By the time it appeared in Casino Royale it was on its third engine, an UN-superchareged four and a half litre (so the 'blower' would seem to be a dummy)

#21 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 12:54

Thank you Gav, that's very helpful indeed. I suppose the shot of the car by the river (is that the Thames, immediately up-river of Kingston?) did show something rather 3-litre-ish about the radiator.

Though I've not hardly been miserable. It's been a pleasure this weekend to have participated in this little chat.

Shame we couldn't have all met round an open fire in a nice country pub and discussed it over a pint or three...

Rgds

Paul

#22 David Birchall

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 16:29

Thanks Gav, where did you find that reference?
The headlights appear to be later P100s with more modern inserts.

That "pint or three" sounds good doesn't it?

#23 Gav Astill

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 18:26

Originally posted by David Birchall
Thanks Gav, where did you find that reference?

Found after some trawling through the 'bible' of Cricklewood Bentleys, "Bentley, The Vintage Years" by Michael Hay, which if you are into Bentley's at all is THE must-buy book.

Luckily our mystery car had a low chassis number, otherwise it would have taken all day!.

By the way it still carries its original registration number of K 19, if you think you spot it at some vintage meeting sometime.

#24 David Birchall

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 19:26

Originally posted by Gav Astill

Found after some trawling through the 'bible' of Cricklewood Bentleys, "Bentley, The Vintage Years" by Michael Hay, which if you are into Bentley's at all is THE must-buy book.

Luckily our mystery car had a low chassis number, otherwise it would have taken all day!.

By the way it still carries its original registration number of K 19, if you think you spot it at some vintage meeting sometime.


Gav, as you can see from my first post that is where I started! Unfortunately, I started at the back of the book!

#25 RStock

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 21:53

Originally posted by P0wderf1nger
.

Though I've not hardly been miserable. It's been a pleasure this weekend to have participated in this little chat.

Shame we couldn't have all met round an open fire in a nice country pub and discussed it over a pint or three...


Yes . It's quite good fun in my book , trying to solve these little mysteries .

A pint for all , and two for Gav for solving this one .

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#26 onelung

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 22:23

Originally posted by P0wderf1nger

I understand he plays a taxi driver who, when instructed in time-honoured fashion to 'follow that car', sets off on foot!

And bearing in mind the earlier reference to Sellers, such a literal interpretation is absolutely pure Milligan: eg "my eyes aren't what they used to be....they used to be my knees."
Ying Tongs to all you Northern Hemisphere mob and enjoy your pint(s).