This event mustered the finest collection of vintage Bentley’s seen outside the club’s annual rally and concours. Enthusiasts and their cars arrived from all over the world to celebrate the BDC 75th Anniversary and entered the 'Britain by Bentley Tour 2011', which encompasses the best historic sights that the country has to offer, and seen from mostly single carriage roads, with motorway driving kept to an absolute minimum.
The tour got underway with a gala dinner at London’s Savoy Hotel on 4th June, followed by another dinner at the RAC Club in Pall Mall the next day, before the driving part started in earnest on Tuesday 7th June, departing from north Essex. The month long tour which consists of four different sections, finishes at Leeds Castle, Kent, on 4 July.
Swiss entrant Kurt Furger who nowadays resides in the USA, keeps his 1928 6½ litre, converted to a Speed Six by R.C. Moss in 1960, in the UK. His Bentley started life as a four-seater tourer, but was converted to a hearse and used by an undertaker in Shepherd’s Bush during WW2. Kurt purchased the car about five years ago, drove it to Switzerland and completed four mountain passes in one day! 'The car’s been everywhere from South Africa to Le Mans and Silverstone,' enthused Kurt. 'It’s a great car to drive, and very quick too.'
One of the earliest cars taking part was Tom Griffin’s 1923 3.0 litre which he purchased 10 years ago in very much ‘barn find’ condition. 'It had last changed hands in 1939 when purchased by a friend,' says Tom. 'When we got the car home it required much work to make good again, though we’ve left the bodywork in its original highly patinated finish.'
One of the event’s star turns was Syd and Nicki Reinhardt’s 1929 Sedanca De Ville. This was the 1929 London Motor Show car as displayed by W.O. Bentley and H.J. Mulliner, that has survived intact with its original body, and is nowadays well maintained at the Bentley Museum at Crewe. To complete the whole Bentley theme, there was a flypast by Andrew Wood of P&A Wood in a 1930 De Havilland DH60G Gipsy Moth that was operated by Bentley Motors in the 1930s.