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A legendary Bentley single seat racing machine fetched a record price when auctioned by Bonhams at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

80 years ago, Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin's 4.5 Litre Supercharged “Blower” dazzled crowds at the Brooklands race circuit.

March 1932 saw Birkin set a record 137.96mph at Brooklands.

Speaking at the time, he remarked: “there are bumps which jolt the driver up and down in his seat and make the car leave the road and travel through the air,”

This year, the fabled vehicle with which such unprecedented speeds were achieved made its name again through reaching a sale price of £4.5 million.

This is a new world's-best for Birkin's 240bhp supercharged red racer. The figure outstrips Bentley's previous auction record, when the Speed Six known as “Old No. 2” sold for £2.8 million at the Le Mans Classic in 2004.

Says Bentley's Richard Charlesworth: “Birkin along with his Bentley racing friends like Woolf Barnato, Dudley Benjafield and Glen Kidston were true sporting superstars, renowned not only for their driving ability and courage but living life to the full and in some considerable style.

“They would create the enduring legend of the Bentley Boy racer at Brooklands and Le Mans and this new record price for a Bentley achieved by Bonhams reflects the enduring respect and admiration for their story and their cars.”