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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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