Bentley "Old Mother Gun"

Bentleys: few have survived to the present day, and each of them is a precious rarity. But one stands out, even from this select group. This is the vehicle with chassis number ST 3001, nicknamed "Old Mother Gun", which can be viewed in the Technik Museum Sinsheim.

The Bentley with chassis no. 3001 was built in June 1927 in the Bentley factory in London's Cricklewood district, founded in 1919. "Old Mother Gun" is the first time the newly developed Bentley 4.5-litre 6-cylinder engine acted as the drive. This makes the car the first in the series of Bentley 4.5-litre race cars which raised the bar in motor racing in the late 1920s. By the way, the nickname refers to Bentley racer and company patron Woolf Barnato, who coined the rhyme "S-T-Three-O-O-One - Old Mother Gun!" to fit with the chassis number.

This vehicle led to numerous victories for Bentley - including first place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1928, with Woolf Barnato and Bernhard Rubin in the driving seat. Thanks to the new polished aluminium body, it was much easier for "Old Mother Gun" to reach the (then-) breath-taking average speed of 217 km/h at the Brooklands Oval in 1937.

Decades have passed since then, and the Bentley "Old Mother Gun" is still not ready for the scrapheap. Now, the cylinder capacity of the engine has increased to 8 litres, boosting the power to 350 hp at 4200 rpm. Since its last major overhaul in 1989, the vehicle has taken part in over 150 vintage car races all over the world - and there is no end in sight.