Take a Good Look at the Oldest Surviving Bentley

The EXP2 is the second Bentley ever built, and the first to win a race. And ten more races afterwards.

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Bentley

Fresh out of the Royal Air Force exactly a century ago in 1919, W.O. Bentley built three EXP cars to start off his car venture. Using his experience with aircraft engines, he developed a 3.0-liter four-cylinder with aluminum pistons for his cars, which was such as the 1914 Grand Prix Mercedes and the 1913 Coupe de l’Auto Peugeot.

After Autocar tested EXP1, Bentley used his exhibited chassis to build EXP2 into a two-seater sports car, featuring an aluminum body, and an engine with four valves per cylinder, a twin-spark head, twin magnetos, and a few bits of magnesium here and there. As a result, EXP2 made 175 horsepower in its ultimate iteration. Since it weighed just 1500 lbs, it was good for a top speed of 79 miles per hour. In 1921, that was still plenty enough for a victory, as long as a car could stay in one piece throughout the race. Luckily, Bentley's chassis were the most robust in the business.

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Bentley

While EXP3, 'The Cab,' became W.O.'s personal car, EXP2 got re-bodied in 1921, and was fitted with a spare racing engine the following year. It was later replaced with the 144th Bentley production engine. Before getting dusty, EXP2 achieved eleven race wins and seven 2nd place finishes.

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Bentley

Today, as the oldest surviving Bentley, EXP2 is part of the exclusive club that includes , and . Its caretaker is Robin Peel, Head of the Bentley Motors Heritage Collection, and if you're looking for a new drinking game, he can also help you with that:

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