Petronella: VINTAGE CAR WITH A MODERN DAY TWIST
VBE's own project car, Petronella, proves a great showcase for our unique in-house skills.
She is the dream of VBE's owner, Tim Cresswell, who is now keen to help other Bentley enthusiasts build/ restore their own vintage car. A brief description of what makes Petronella so special and several photos of the restoration can be found below:
The engine, previously a 3 litre, has now been converted to a 4.5 litre specification with a 5.3 litre cylinder block. It has a forged semi counterbalanced crankshaft and forged con rods - all designed by VBE. The bottom end has been converted from white metal to shell bearings. It boasts forged pistons, up-rated needle roller rockers and lightened valve gear.
The oil pump capacity has been doubled and is run on high speed driving gears. The ignition system has been converted from ML magnetos to Delco Remy coil ignition. A bespoke lightweight modern flywheel has been fitted with a modern diaphragm clutch. The original Bentley C Type gearbox casing has been converted to take D, type close ratio gears as per the later Blower cars. A Laycock overdrive has been fitted with an up-rated main shaft, allowing the car to cruise at 70mph with only 2200rpm.
The car has a high tensile aluminium differential housing with a steel diff cage, produced by VBE. The fuel tank has been made with a 4.5 litre design for extra capacity and a switchable duel fuel supply.
The braking system has been converted from rod operated brakes to hydraulics and the suspension damping is provided by lightweight aluminium shock absorbers, double mounted as per the Le Mans team cars.
Visit our Petronella gallery for even more behind-the-scenes photos!