The Good Oil: Bentley's big bash and more
Big Bentley Bash
One of the greatest racing cars to ever turn a wheel in anger is the mighty 4 1/2-litre (4.5-litre) "Blower" Bentley run by Sir Henry "Tim" Birkin and his Bentley Boys in the late 1920s, early 1930s.
It may never have won a race, but it was huge and terrifyingly fast, it made a magnificent noise and Ettore Bugatti called it the "fastest lorry in the world". Those reasons alone are enough to love it, but the fact that it had its supercharger mounted proudly and defiantly outside the engine bay and front of the radiator just makes it awesome.
That is why we are in love with these pics which celebrate not only Bentley's current Continental GT3 racing car winning two major international GT championships this year but also the 85th anniversary of Bentley's historic 1930 Le Mans win.
The Blower in all its glory. Photo / Bentley
While the Blower Bentley didn't win the race in 1930, it did take part, with Birkin pushing Rudolf Caracciola's Mercedes-Benz SSK to breaking point before expiring six hours before the end of the race, leaving Glen Kinston and the marvellously-named Woolf Barnato to take the win for Bentley in their naturally aspirated 4 1/2 -litre Speed Six.
Bentley knows the Blower is the coolest car they have built, so it is included in these pics taken at the UK's Silverstone race track in front of the British Racing Drivers' Club, founded in 1928 by then-Bentley Boy, the extremely-British-named Dudley Benjafield.
While the pics are awesome, they do leave The Good Oil with one lingering question; namely, when did racing drivers stop having such awesome names?
Classic communist coupe
Fancy a bit of Communist-era Soviet bling in your daily commute, but prefer a more modern driving experience? Russian company Bilenkin Classic Cars has the solution.
The "Vintage" coupe is based on an E92 BMW 3 Series coupe, so will certainly have the punch and handling of a modern car, while the Volga-esque styling not only disguises the car's BMW roots, but also looks brilliantly retro-futuristic and distinctly unique!
The Vintage can be customised to suit your taste (or lack of it, if some of the colour combinations are anything to go by), and had its public debut at the Dubai motor show. Despite this, there are precious few details about any of its technical specifications.
Which makes The Good Oil think that an E92 M3-based Vintage coupe would sit quite nicely alongside the Equus Bass (the thoroughly modern American muscle car, which manages to knock off the original Mustang and Camaro in one design) in our dream garage ...
You can't have an over-the-top Hummer HX (above) but how about a Rhino XT (below).
Remember Hummer? Well, it seems that the single awesome car that they never built is back. Sort of.
In 2008 Hummer unveiled the HX, a smaller (i.e. vaguely sane sized) 4WD aimed squarely at the Jeep Wrangler. While it was smaller than the ridiculously large Hummers that went before it, the HX took all the cliched Hummer styling cues and went utterly over the top with them, which strangely made the HX look brilliant!
Unfortunately, just as the company was poised to make a decent car (well, at least one that looked good) things went pear-shaped for Hummer, and General Motors pulled the plug in 2010 after being unable to unload it on to the Chinese.
But the HX is back. Well, at least most of it is, as an American company by the name of US Specialty Vehicles is taking orders for the Rhino XT -- a conversion kit for a current model Jeep Wrangler that transforms it into an almost-exact replica of the HX concept car! Minus the trademarked (and much fought over) seven-slot grille, of course.
The Rhino XT costs US$75,000 ($113,000), making it hideously expensive for a Jeep, but just look at it!
Off road abomination
From a cool-looking off-roader (the Rhino XT) to a truly hideous one -- look what Red Bull has done to an LWB Land Rover Defender.
Not content with chopping up classic Minis and sticking huge cans on top of them, the energy drink company has disposed of the only good part of a Defender (its classic looks) and stuck this horrific abomination on its elderly, agricultural platform.
Introducing this piece of automotive awfulness, the company says "Beach, bush, backyard stomp. Anywhere? With the heart and soul of a Land Rover and the body of a beast, the newest member of our fleet of event vehicles will make it happen. It looks the part too!"
If you mean it looks the way a drink of the sweet fizzy stroke-in-a-can makes you feel, then yes, it does look the part ...
We are the world
• If you ever needed proof that wisdom doesn't automatically come with age, then consider the story of a 73-year-old man police in Seattle pulled over a week ago. He was driving at night without his lights on and the officer was prepared to let him off with a warning -- until the elderly gent helped himself to a generous scoop of cocaine when he thought the cop wasn't looking. Startled when the officer returned, the man fumbled and spilled white powder through his car. He then tried to pass the coke off as "vitamins".
• A Chevrolet dealership in San Antonio, Texas, was recently hit by a gang of thieves who made off with the wheels off 39 trucks and six cars. In just over five hours the thieves took 180 wheels off the 45 vehicles and loaded them into a rented truck. The dealership's manager said they could have taken more, but had to stop when they filled up the truck.
The number of 4 -litre Bentleys built between 1927 and 1931.
The number of supercharged 4-litre Blower Bentleys built.
125, 175 POUNDS
The amount W.O. Bentley sold his company to Rolls-Royce for in 1931.
The amount in pounds a Blower Bentley sells for now.