Three months left to keep Birkin’s Bentley in the UK

| 1 Aug 2013

Time is running out to raise the £5,149,800 needed to keep Sir Henry Birkin’s famous 1929 4½ Litre supercharged ‘Blower’ Bentley on British soil.Culture Minister Ed Vaizey deferred granting an export licence for the racing car until 31 October, although this period may be extended until 31 May 2014 if a serious intention is made to generate the funds required. The move follows a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA).Vaizey said: “It would be a tremendous loss to the nation if this wonderful car, that so beautifully epitomises the passion and glamour of motor racing in 1930s Britain, were to be exported overseas. “I hope that a UK buyer can be found in the time now available so we can keep this magnificent piece of British racing history in the UK.” The single-seater – which when new raised the Brooklands Outer Circuit record to 137mph – sold for £5,042,000 at Bonhams’ Goodwood sale last year.Following the death of Birkin in 1933, the car was converted into a two-seater roadster, however, a subsequent owner ‘Rusty’ Russ-Turner reunited the original body and chassis 25 years later returning the car to its previous incarnation and securing its long-term preservation.