It's the Rolls-Royce of Bentley websites.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bentley at 1929 Le Mans Grand Prix d'Endurance

1 Bentley Speed Six "Old Number One" driven by Woolf Barnato & Henry Birkin
2 Bentley 4½ Litre driven by Jock Lawson Dunfee & Glen Kidston
3 Bentley 4½ Litre driven by Dr. Dudley Benjafield & André d'Erlanger
4 Bentley 4½ Litre driven by Frank Clement & Jean Chassagne

Let's watch some original footage of the race.

"Birkin slowed down on the last lap so that the Bentleys could finish in line start, taking the first 4 places"

Bernard Rubin & Lord Howe in a Bentley 4½ Litre did not finish.

Mr.Hay's authoritative book: "Bentley, the Vintage Years 1919 - 1931" states:

"The Speed Six, driven by Birkin, was first away on the flagfall and apart from the problems with shifting ballast on the Clement Chausan 4½ litre and the retirement of the Earl of Howe in No. 11 with magneto trouble, the four Bentleys held the first four places virtually from beginning to end. At one point the Chrysler of Stoffel and Benoir reached third place but gradually the American challenge faded and W.O. (I.e. W.O. Bentley) reduced the speed of all cars to a fast tour. W.O.'s policy of not showing the potential of the cars irked the drivers. Jack Dunfee stopped at the pits and said I say, W.O., do you want me to get out and push the bloody thing? I've just stopped and had a drink at the Hippodrome', and he had one too. Shortly before 4 p.m. the cars slowed, formed up in line astern and at flagfall the victorious team cruised over the in finishing order: No.1, No.9, No.10, No.8, all Bentleys."

Again not something you see every day.

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The Silver Ghost as a Wedding Car

For the 450th post on Bentley Spotting, here is simply a great Rolls Royce story of Chris and Sue Ellis.

They had the ultimate, amazing and seemingly unachievable best car in the world as their wedding car. They had a Rolls Royce, that is the best car in the world. Correct. But not just any Rolls Royce, they had the car that made Rolls Royce the best car maker in the world. They had a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost. Yes the old one. Correct, but not just any Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, they had the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, as in AX201, the Silver Ghost.

The first word that comes to mind in hearing that is bollocks. Just another Rolls Royce story after you have nearly finished a bottle. That would never happen. It couldn't. AX201 is owned by Rolls Royce/Bentley and is only taken out for company promotion at exclusive events. It is not a wedding car - but a car that is so valuable that it can not be given a price (though it has been quoted as been insured for $US40 million). It is the most famous car in the world.

Unbelievable, but here is one of their wedding photos, on the way to the church in the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, AX201.

AX201 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost wedding car

So how did they do it? There must be a story in it.

Chris Ellis's wife is Sue, nee Brockbank. As in the famous cartoonist Russell Brockbank's daughter. That's him in AX201 next to his daughter.

More about Russell Brockbank at the website
Here is what Chris had to say.

The picture was taken on my wedding day, September 4th 1965. Brockbank had previously produced a booklet for Rolls Royce, which contained about 12 images of Rolls Royce and Bentley cars.

When asked what was his fee, he replied he would like the Silver Ghost for his daughter's wedding.

The story goes on.

My wife Sue was worried that she would not be able to get into the car in her wedding dress. So the two of us went to Rolls Royce in Berkley Square - both very young, me just qualified as a doctor, Sue as a nurse. We saw the Silver Ghost in the window, and bravely ventured in, mentioned that we were having the car for our wedding.

"Oh I don't think so" said the very snooty Rolls Royce man, "but I will just check but this car only goes out once a year". He returned shortly after, grovelling and agreed we were right.

On the day Rolls Royce provided a box covered in silver paper to mount into the car.

It is a great story! And happy 45th wedding anniversary for next year.

Here is a photo from 1983 of the Silver Ghost AX201 at Rolls Royce Conduit St. London showroom taken by David who has sent in great photos before as shown here and here. David also received the photo and information from Chris relating to the ultimate wedding car, and thank you David for this.

Prints of Russell Brockbank's cartoons are available here.

I'm not too sure many other people can say they had AX201 as their wedding car!

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Experimental Bentley Continental R

Now this photo is a bit rare!

Take a look. Can you tell what it is?

Look at the wheels, rear view mirrors, the bumper bars and the overall wheels base. They are both Turbo R and Continental R.

So how do you tell the difference? It is in the front door length and the angle on the windscreen. It is a Bentley Continental R.

This heavily disguised Bentley Continental R picture was taken at the Arctic test centre in Lapland Northern Sweden when the car was in development undergoing cold weather testing.

It is an experimental Bentley Continental R.

The picture is courtesy of Nick at

Nick has set up a blog for Ex-Bentley/Rolls-Royce employees to provide a place on the net where ex Bentley and Rolls-Royce employees can share stories, memories and some news.

Good luck with your blog Nick, and keep the pictures flowing!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bentley Wins 24-hour Race at Le Mans

This vintage Bentley photograph is quite well known.

Let's check it out in situ.

June 17, 1924. The Motor
Bentley Wins 24-hour Race at Le Mans.
Duff and Clement Victorious Over 40 Other Compe'itors.

For an amazing resource for Vintage Bentleys have a look here

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bentley Arnage Drifting

Take a look at the number plate. It is 1 WO.

Bentley Arnage Drifting

That means it is a car owned by Crewe. Naughty Bentley Boys warning up the ties!


John Lennon's Phantom V

John Lennon's 1965 Rolls Royce Phantom V is a bit of a famous car. Yellow submarine alright!

It does the museum circuit in North America and held the title as the most expensive car in history for quite a long time after it was sold at auction in 1985 for US$2,299,000. Here is a video.

The detailing on the roof is not often shown.

And the interior with the then owner. The rear seats fold into a bed, mostly likely made by Harold Radford.

What is a bit less well known is that John Lennon also owned a 1958 Bentley S1 is just as exciting colour scheme.

The Bentley S1 was auctioned in 2000, and now also resides in a museum in North America.

Thanks to Mikael for the tip.

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Bentley 8-Litres

Lets take a look at a few videos of some Bentley 8-Litres.

It is nice to see Bentley 8-Litres out and about.

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Bentley Continental R Le Mans in Salmon

There must be a story behind this Russian Bentley Continental R Le Mans.

I'm thinking that the dealership was on the phone confirming the colour, and at the same time the waiter was asking what was for lunch.

Ill stick with that. Salmon. For lunch as well.

via (Exotics on Road)

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Rolls Royce Bentley Corniche

Check this one out. Firstly it is a Rolls Royce to Bentley swap. A Rolls Royce Bentley Corniche if you may.

When a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow or Bentley T has a gender identify issue, it is a bit more serious surgery than a Rolls Royce Silver Spirit to Bentley Mulsanne gender reassignment.

It is to do with the erect structure above. The bonnet. The Silver Spirit and Mulsanne share the same bonnet, however the Shadow and T do not.

The bonnet on the Bentley T is slightly rounded and the Silver Shadow is more angular which is consistent with the grill shapes of the respective genders.

Rolls Royce Bentley Corniche

Now this car is a touch of a standout. Take a look at the headlight surrounds. They are colour coded.

It really does modernise the look of the car.

Rolls Royce Bentley Corniche

The rubber T2 bumper bars also update the look of this Corniche, as do the wheels.

The interior does look good, however the console between the dash and the arm rest with the phone holder is a little surprising.

It looks like an addition. But it is ok. It is attempting to be an 1987+ style dash.

For those that care, the engine still has the Rolls Royce cover on it.

The car is actually 1983 A Reg Rolls Royce with 75,000 miles - but you could not tell that at all from the photographs.

It is currently for sale at £27900 from

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Mutec Rolls Royce Official Coachbuilder

The German company Mutec is an official Rolls Royce coach builder.

Rolls Royce Phantom Stretch Limousine

Like Jankel did in the 1990's Mutec now produces the official Rolls Royce extended wheel base models.

Rolls Royce Phantom Stretch Limousine

Here is the official Rolls Royce Motor Cars Ltd 1100mm lengthening to the Rolls Royce Phantom.

Rolls Royce Phantom Stretch Limousine

It makes it a seriously long, and big car.

Rolls Royce Phantom Stretch Limousine

Quite roomy in fact. Very nice.

Rolls Royce Phantom Stretch Limousine

It does look comfortable in the back.

Rolls Royce Phantom Stretch Limousine

I buzz not facing backwards!

Rolls Royce Phantom Stretch Limousine

What is great is that two have been spotted in real life.

Rolls Royce Phantom Stretch Limousine

Rolls Royce Phantom Stretch Limousine

It does not look out of place at all. You could take this car anywhere.

Rolls Royce Phantom Stretch Limousine

Rolls Royce Phantom Stretch Limousine

There are only a few cities in the world where this car would be socially acceptable. It would not be in Australia.

Rolls Royce Phantom Stretch Limousine

Rolls Royce Phantom Stretch Limousine

And here is the second Rolls Royce Phantom Stretch Limousine. From Dubai.

Rolls Royce Phantom Stretch Limousine

I would go for a ride in one to a magnificent event, but would not own one.

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1926 Bentley 3 Litre Tourer by Freestone & Webb

I do like making Bentley spotting a little global.

Here is a video from Japan, at the Tokyo Concours d'Elegance Parade Run.

It is a 1926 Bentley 3 Litre Tourer by Freestone & Webb

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Bentley Continental GT Speed by Mansory

Last month a keen Bentley spotter Gerald noticed this different Mansory Bentley in Dubai.

We could only tell it was a Mansory by the wheels, as they are an older style, not by the body kit as it was very new. So new in fact that it was not launched publicly yet. Now the car has been relieved at the Geneva Motor show last week.

It is the Bentley Continental GT Speed by Mansory.

The front bumper bar features the ever popular LED day lights, that are even on the new Rolls Royce EX200.

The front fenders are part of the Mansory kit, and allow for significant extraction of hot air from the front brakes.

The side shirt and new rear bumper which features a rear air diffuser and 'stacked' twin exhaust tips do set this Mansory Bentley Continental GT Speed apart.

It is not just cosmetic as well. Mansory have increased power to 685hp (511kW) from the GT Speed's original figure of 610hp (455kW), by the new exhaust system, air intakes and adjustments to the ECU that also results in 656lb-ft (890Nm) of torque - almost 111lb-ft (150Nm) more than the original.

This gives the top speed of the Bentley Continental GT Speed by Mansory to be 216mph.

It is quite a bit faster than the fastest factory Bentley ever, the Bentley Continental Supersport.

Mansory do know how to do interiors!

I wonder in this difficult economic time that Bentley would give the car, via its new owner, to Mansory prior to its full completion at Crewe, saving everyone money?

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