Two record-breaking Bentley cars, one built 85 years after the other, are set to star at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend. One is the Continental GT Speed, in which actor Idris Elba recently beat the time for the ‘Flying Mile’, the UK land speed record set by Sir Malcolm Campbell in 1927. Thanks to the Bentley’s 6-litre twin-turbo W12 engine and a new ZF eight-speed close-ratio automatic transmission, Elba broke the record by almost 6MPH, reaching 180.3MPH on Pendine Sands in Wales.
The other car is a vintage model: the celebrated 1930 Blue Train car. This was driven by Woolf Barnato, the then Chairman of Bentley Motors, when he raced the Calais-Mediterranée Express (or ‘Blue Train’) back to Calais. Barnato had made a bet that not only could he beat the train back to Calais in his car, but that he could even be at his club in London before the train reached the Channel. He succeeded, and the episode entered the history books as one of the most famous car races in history.
Both these record-breaking cars will be tackling the famous Goodwood Hillclimb, the 1.16 mile journey up a steep hill, watched by 150,000 motoring enthusiasts. They will be joined by other inspiring models from the marque, including the iconic 1929 4 ½ Litre Blower, the modern Continental GT3 racer and he road car it inspired, the Continental GT3-R.
If you’re heading down to this famous motor-racing festival, don’t miss the Bentley cars powering up the iconic hill. There’s also an extensive Bentley stand, for those who fancy one day tackling a hill climb for themselves.