The Bentley Boys were a group of gentlemen racers who drove Bentley sports cars to victory in the 1920s. In 1925, as the marque foundered, Bentley Boy Woolf Barnato bought the company, leading to the creation of the famous supercharged Bentley Blower car.
The Bentley Boys included:
- Woolf "Babe" Barnato, heir to Kimberley diamond magnate Barney Barnato
- Dr. J. Dudley "Benjy" Benjafield
- Sir Henry "Tim" Birkin
- Dale Bourne
- Frank Clement
- S. C. H. "Sammy" Davis, automotive journalist, Sports Editor of The Autocar
- John Duff
- George Duller, steeplechaser
- Clive Dunfee
- Jack Dunfee
- Baron d’Erlanger, playboy
- Clive Gallop, engineer
- Glen Kidston, aviator
- Bertie Kensington Moir
- Bernard Rubin, pearl fishery magnate
At one point, on a bet, Barnato raced Le Train Bleu from Cannes to Calais, then by ferry to Dover and finally London, travelling on public highways with normal traffic, and won; the special-bodied 6.5 L car became known as the Blue Train Bentley.
Thanks to the dedication of this group to serious racing, the company, located at Cricklewood, north London, was noted for its four consecutive victories at the 24 hours of Le Mans from 1927 to 1930. Their greatest competitor at the time, Ettore Bugatti, whose lightweight, elegant, but fragile creations contrasted with the Bentley's rugged reliability and durability, referred to them as "the world's fastest lorries".
A great deal of Barnato's fortune went to keeping Bentley afloat after he became chairman in 1925; but the Great Depression destroyed demand for the company's expensive products, and it was finally sold off to Rolls-Royce in 1931
The victorious Speed Six team at
By 1930 the 4½ litre supercharged ‘Blower’ cars were running and Birkin entered a team of three for the 1927
In the opening laps of the race Birkin had the time of his life duelling with the Mercedes. Overtaking at nearly 120 mph just before Mulsanne with his off-side wheels on the grass, Birkin caught Caracciola totally by surprise, but in the process threw the tread of his rear tyre. Undaunted, he continued to set the fastest lap of the race, before the tyre finally blew in the following lap.
The chase for Caracciola was taken over by the 6½ litre cars, initially
Thereafter, W O. Bentley slowed the cars to a fast tour. The Blowers kept going until about , with the two 6½ litre cars of Barnato/Kidston and Clement/Watney taking 1st and 2nd place respectively.