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Homepage. This page: Simon recalls the 1930s Bentley bought in pieces by his father, and subsequently rebuilt.

Derby Bentley recollections.

Simon dropped me a line in 2011 after seeing photographs of a Derby Bentley in the image archive, with his memories of the dismantled 1930s Bentley that his father bought in the 1960s. He restored the car step by step, and owned it until the mid-1990s. A car similar to that belonging to Simon's father is shown below.
1930s Derby Bentley
"I just come across your site again, and was intrigued by the Derby Bentley article - my dad bought an identical car in the early 1960's, as a rolling chassis, with two tea chests of bits ..... it was rebuilt by Jack Moss Garages just outside Birmingham, and we used it as everyday transport for years. My dad used to carry out all the work on it - new clutches, brakes etc. I remember him re-fitting the gearbox from underneath by balancing it on his chest and pushing it into place - no mean feat as it weighed around 1.5 cwt, and had a huge flywheel! Over the years he had the interior re-trimmed, and as his business was metal finishing, eventually he stripped it down to the aluminium bodywork and re-painted it in cream, with brown wire wheels, a change from it's original funeral black, with discs over the wire wheels. He also moved the spare wheel from the boot onto the nearside wing/running board. It was a fantastically engineered car - hand pumped lubrication system, vacuum servo brakes, and the engine was beautifully smooth, particularity at idle, and made a great noise too. We used to go all over the UK in it, on holiday, roof rack full, attracting looks wherever we went!"
"With his second wife, in the late 1980's, he went to France, down to Biarritz, and on the way, broke a half shaft ... he had a spare axle at home, so one of his BDC mates actually flew out with the half shaft in his private plane, and stayed with dad, whilst they worked with the local French garagiste to put it all back together!"
"He was also a member of the Bentley Drivers Club, and used to go to regular meetings - it was actually a BDC meeting at Silverstone in the sixties which was my first race meeting - I still go now, and love the annual BDC meet in August. We went in his mate's green 4.5 (Le Mans type), sat in the back at 80 mph with the hood down - brilliant for a 10 year old! I remember we stopped at the Green Man on the A43 at Brackley on the way back, and I burnt my bare leg on the end of the huge exhaust pipe - I had a circle of soot on my calf that looked like it was the size of a dinner plate!"
"Dad moved to Spain about 20 years ago, (died a couple of years ago) and eventually sold the Bentley in around 1995, having owned for over 30 years."
Thanks for sending your story over Simon, great stuff!
Visit the motoring memories pages at oldclassiccar for more stories like this.

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