1929 Bentley Speed Six Pilots: W. Barnato, T. Birkin Team: Bentley Motors Ltd Race: 1st overall (S 8.0 class) at Le Mans in 1929 Ixo - LM 1929 (diecast)
The Bentley Speed Six was introduced in 1928 as a more sporting version of the Bentley 6½ Liters. It had an inline-6 cylinders engine of 6597 cm³, 24 valves and SOHC, two carburetors and lighter body work. Conversely, the racing version of the Speed Six had a shorter wheelbase and an improved engine. With two SU carburetors and a higher compression ratio, power output reached 200 hp. The Speed Six was fast, but just as important, it was reliable. Therefore, the car was a prime candidate for racing that 24 hour race held every year in France.
Piloted by three of the “Bentley Boys”, Speed Six #1 came in first place in the 1929 24 Hours of Le Mans. For this race they were “Tim” Birkin, Glen Kidston and Woolf Barnato, the chairman of Bentley Motors. Like my two other Bugattis, this is a very decent model from Ixo, with pretty good detail overall. Hence, maybe I could even go as far as saying that Ixo is a very good buy for these vintage racers.
I thought it would be interesting to show what a difference 86 years of development in car technology can make. The Speed Six raced 2843.83 km with an average speed of 118.5 km/h, while the Speed 8 in 2003 raced 5116.32 km at an average speed of 214.33 km/h. But in model terms, it’s a VERY fair fight. Once again, Ixo certainly did a pretty neat job (on both!). Despite the fuel tank, the Speed 6 #1 is definitively a keeper.