Built in 1929, “Old No. 1” chassis LB2332 debuted as a Bentley Speed Six designed by the Racing Department for long-distance racing.
During the car’s entire race career (from 1929 to 1932), the Racing Department continually modified the Bentley to retain a competitive advantage. As a result, “Old No. 1” won the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright in 1929 and 1930. Only a handful of race cars have won Le Mans more than once.
The car was originally fitted with an open four-seat fabric body for Vanden Plas to meet 1929 Le Mans requirements, however later in the same year, a second shell was constructed by Vanden Plas for Brooklands racing. The bodies were changed as needed.
This past August, Linkage contributor Lt Col Jordan “Joker” Smith, USAF, caught up with “Old No. 1” at the Le Mans Centennial Heritage Display at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca just outside Monterey, CA. You can ride in the passenger seat of “Old No. 1” as the driver navigates the famous corkscrew turn by watching the 3D video below.
Year Built: 1929
Engine: YH5127 straight six-cylinder 8 liter
Top Speed: Over 100 mph
Weight: 4,800 lbs.
Transmission: 4-speed plus reverse, 6.5 liter C type