The Bentley 4½ Litre was introduced in the late 1920s by Bentley Motors Ltd. The supercharged version, nick-named the "Blower", was introduced in 1929. With its long, tall body, open wire-spoked wheels and British racing green bodywork, the Bentley "Blower" is perhaps one of Britain's most iconic cars of the period. The Supercharged version is distinguished from its "unblown" counterpart by the Amherst Villiers supercharger mounted at the front of the chassis. With just over 50 examples of the Supercharged version produced the Bentley "Blower" is one of the most desirable cars of its type. In the original novels by author Ian Fleming British secret agent James Bond drove a Bentley 4½ Litre Supercharged "Blower".
The Bentley Motors Ltd car company was founded in 1919, in London, by Walter Owen Bentley. At the time it was common for manufacturers to produce a chassis and engine and for coachbuilders to produce bodywork for the car to a customer's satisfaction; one such coachbuilder was Vanden Plas and they were coachbuilder used by Bentley customers. The first Bentley car, the Bentley 3 Litre model, was introduced in 1919.
Production of a replacement for the 3 Litre model, the Bentley 4½ Litre, commenced in 1927 with over 700 examples manufactured produced over the next four years. The Bentley 4½ Litre was raced in competitions, notably winning the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 1928 and the following year finishing second, third and fourth.
The Supercharged version was introduced in 1929, and only 55 examples were produced. The engine was fitted with a Amherst Villiers supercharger, which was mounted at the front of the chassis. This earned it the nick-name the Bentley "Blower", However, the 4½ Litre Supercharged version didn't prove as successful in competition as the "unblown" version.
Unlike in the James Bond film franchise where 007 drives an Aston Martin DB5, in the original Ian Fleming novels James Bond drove a Bentley 4½ Litre Blower.