All I Want For Christmas Is A Blower Bentley
I have to admit, there are very few cars this old that get me really excited. My only exposure to them growing up was being dragged around dingy museums, and in that setting, it’s very easy to forget that such lumbering behemoths spent their early years tearing around the banks at Brooklands and speeding along the Mulsanne straight.
Thankfully, seeing one of these beasts sideways through the chicane at Goodwood will definitely remind you of their abilities.
Back in May, we took a trip to this most classic of racing venues, and found ourselves immersed in some incredible Pre-War automobiles thanks to a meeting with Benjafield’s Racing Club. What we came away with was the best history lesson we could ever ask for.
Since this meeting earlier this year, I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with cars from all parts of motorsport history, from the cutting edge to the very beginnings of circuit racing. This small and intimate meeting with some serious enthusiasts should perhaps only be a footnote in my year, but it remains stuck in my memory.
If anyone ever asks me who to describe a true car enthusiast, I’ll be talking about these guys. Most owners would be satisfied simply starting the engine of one of these near century-old machines, or taking them on a Sunday drive through the countryside, but to take them to a track and drive them to the ragged edge? That takes a passion (and nerves) that very few have.
I find myself in those museums from my childhood quite often these days. Most have had a lick of paint, and they’re not quite as dusty and dingy as they once were. The cars stay the same, though. I’d have once rushed past some of the cars I saw at Goodwood in early summer, to see the big red cars with the horse badge on them—but now I can stand and appreciate these old machines for what they are.