Tag Archives: Bentley Drivers’ Club

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An Abundance of Bentleys

For those who love the marque, a visit to the Bentley Drivers’ Club meeting at Silverstone is a sheer delight. First, apart from the obvious restrictions concerning the track, the visitor can go everywhere and park anywhere with no officials saying “you can’t park there” etc. – wonderful! And a whole host of Bentleys are to be seen, ranging from the early 3-litres to the very latest Continental GT3 racer. There are invitations to other clubs to support the day’s activities – traditionally the Morgans – and this year the A.C. Ace was celebrating its 60th anniversary. The weather was kind in the morning and a wander around is deeply rewarding – mirabile visu. The Club’s bookstall yielded some very interesting literature too.

2014 JB General

Old and New – a 1927 3-litre tackles Lufforth corner with a 2005 Continental GT at the rear.

2014 JB General

Derby and Cricklewood – #18 is a 1936 4¼-litre with 2-seater bodywork and #12 is a 3-litre dating back to 1924.

2014 JB General

Here is that Continental GT with artwork reminiscent of the Jeff Koons’ liveried Art Car BMW M3 which ran at Le Mans in 2010.

2014 JB General

This is the Generation Bentley Racing Continental GT3 currently taking part in the British GT series. It is chassis 03.

2014 JB General

This is a faithful reconstruction (acceptable in my eyes as the originals don’t exist anymore) of the 1922 Tourist Trophy car with the flat radiator – the three almost standard cars won the Team Prize.

2014 JB General

A rarity was this Zagato-bodied Continental.

2014 JB General

Notice the coachbuilder’s traditional “blips” in the roof.

2014 JB General

Members were invited to take part in a parade around the circuit with their cars after mid-day and here they are lined up ready to be escorted onto the track: modern products of Crewe on the left, a Derby-built 3½-litre in the middle with an old 3-litre and a couple of Speed Sixes on the right – a marvellous selection!

2014 JB General

The highlight of my visit! This is a very special car – it is the Bob Gregory Speed Six Saloon, the last Bentley ever to win a race at Brooklands! Bob raced and rallied it in the Thirties (including the R.A.C. Rally) and on 8 July 1939 he won a heat of the One Lap Handicap.

2014 JB General

His son Graham is seen at the wheel of this beautifully kept car which has been in the family all these years.

TAILPIECE

2014 JB General

This A.C. Aceca Coupé was determined to stop its driver from throwing it off the track!

David Blumlein, December 2014

 

 

The Long Walk

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

On the first public day of the Windsor Concours of Elegance the scale of the event was extended by the presence of several car clubs bringing a fantastic selection of their members’ vehicles.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

As might have been expected the thoroughbred British brands were to the fore, Aston Martin sending a brace of cars to support the efforts of the Aston Martin Owners’ Club. And what a pair? An Aston Martin V12 Zagato and an Aston Martin V12 Vantage – shaken and stirred.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

The AMOC had come up with an appropriate salute to Her Majesty on her Diamond Jubilee, an example of the marque from each of the 60 years. Leading the way was the 1952 Aston Martin DB3, chassis 5, that raced that year at Monaco, Le Mans, Sebring, the Mille Miglia and Goodwood. This actual car actually triumphed in the Goodwood Nine Hours that year driven by Peter Collins and Pat Griffith.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

The rich heritage of Aston Martin was fully illustrated under the blue Berkshire skies, in the shadow of Windsor Castle.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

From 1985, the Aston Martin Lagonda, certainly marching to a different drum stylistically. This very expensive saloon was the first production car in the world to use digital instrumentation and computer management, but the whole affair was prone to terrible reliability problems.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

The exhibition was not solely a British affair with Ferrari showing a fabulous display of their supercars that have been produced during Queen’s reign.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

Completely different answers to the same question, a Ferrari Dino 246 GT and Ferrari 275 GTB/4. Both from the 60’s and illustrating performance and style, both utterly desirable.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

Just look at the wheels, how they match the Ferrari red, takes one back to the 512S, one of the stars of Steve McQueen’s film Le Mans.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

A unique product from Maranello that was on the lawn was this Ferrari Dino 208 GT4 Spyder.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

Styled by Bertone this car was a one off exercise in looking at how the 208 might look as a soft top. It never made it into production.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

Completely original and unrestored since its production in 1975, it was a rare beast, even in the Windsor setting.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

The Ferrari F40 still has shock and awe qualities even some 20 years on.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

The same might well be said of the “Batmobile” aka BMW 3.0 litre CSL

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

The Bentley Drivers’ Club was also well represented. Not every item was factory fitted.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

This Bentley Continental S2 Drophead particularly caught my eye.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

With the famous track only a short distance from Windsor it was inevitable that the Brooklands Museum would put in an appearance with a reminder of the days of The Bentley Boys.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

Power behind the legend.

2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance

Perhaps the most surprising thing about this part of the Windsor Concours of Elegance is that it was free and completely open to the public. Combined with the beautiful weather and the strange spirit of the country in the wake of Jubilee and the Olympics it made for a fantastic weekend. More tomorrow.

John Brooks, December 2012