The Famous "Blue Train" Bentley

When it comes to Bentley, nowhere is this more true than the storied Blue Train race of 1930.

The Blue Train, or Le Train Bleu, was an overnight express train that ran from Calais in the north of France to the resort towns along the Cote d'Azur. Its passengers were vacationers, typically wealthy and, by the late 1920s, often British. And for a short time racing the train and winning became a marketing tool used by British automakers.
Far and away the most famous of these runs, however, was done in a Bentley driven by Woolf Barnato, the company's financial savior and then-chairman. The car most commonly associated with the run is a 1930 Speed Six coupe wearing a three-seat coupe body by Gurney Nutting.

The car is undeniably stunning and you can see why it made waves back in the day—and why it continues to do so today. The legend surrounding this car is such that several high-quality "Blue Train" re-creations have been produced over the years.

Barnato wanted to decidedly beat the Blue Train in one of his cars by making it all the way to London, by boat, before the express pulled into Calais. On March 13, 1930, he and his passenger/co-driver waited until the train left Cannes at 5:45 p.m.

Following the boat ride, it was a leisurely drive from Folkestone to London. The team clocked in at a club in the city moments before the train finally arrived in Calais. The Blue Train had been resoundingly, decisively beaten.

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