Bentley restored a 100-year old engine, proving good engineering is timeless
This year, Bentley decided to celebrate its 100th anniversary in style by showcasing a new concept car, revamping the Bowler, organizing a plethora of events, unveiling the new Flying Spur, introducing a hybrid version for the Bentayga and, on top of all that, they've restored an engine that was originally built in 1923.
Bentley knows a thing or two about engineering. The six and three-quarter-litre twin-turbo V8 in the Mulsanne, for example, dates back to 1959. Obviously, it has been updated over the years but it is still, when all said and done, based on an engine built 60 years ago. However, the British marque has decided to go the extra mile and restore Engine Number 212, introduced for the first time in 1923.
The restoration project took over 700 hours to complete and the 3 L four-cylinder engine was stripped down to single components, put back together again and then mounted on a purpose-built platform at Bentley's HQ in Crewe, Cheshire.
Engine 212 was engineered to fit Bentley chassis 209 and then the story got a bit hazy until 1935, when the engine began being used to teach students at the Royal Artillery Corps School in Bovington (Dorset, UK) how internal combustion engines worked.
In 2011, Bentley acquired the engine and kept it safely stored in anticipation of this, their 100th anniversary celebration. The engine has actually been painted with the colours of the school and it was then displayed next to a modern W12.
Ninety-six years (1923-2019) is a long time and the fact that they managed to pull it off goes to show just how good this engine must've been from the start. Which begs the question, are they going to be able to do the same 100 years from now? Mmh...