Bentley Boys Confirm Special Centenary Events In USA, UK And Europe
We now know what Bentley is planning for its centenary year, and it starts with the Rétromobile show in Paris, but includes events all over the UK and the USA, as well as in France and Italy. Looks like it’s going to be a big one… The first highlight is the appearance of EXP 2, the oldest remaining and first racing model at Rétromobile, 6-10 February at Salon des Expositions, Porte de Versailles, Paris. The car is one of three prototypes built by WO Bentley: EXP 1 (EXPerimental No.1) came together in New Street Mews off Baker Street, and first ran in October 1919; EXP 2 was built later that year at Bentley’s new workshop in Cricklewood, cannibalizing much of EXP 1; and EXP 3, better known as “The Cab,” became WO’s personal car. EXP 2 is no stranger to cars shows, having made its debut at the 1919 Olympia Motor Show. It’s powered by a 3.0-liter four-cylinder engine and had a top speed of 80mph, which was enough to win the Junior Sprint Handicap at Brooklands on 16 May 1921–the first recorded racing victory for Bentley–in the hands of Frank Clement, WO’s development engineer and racing driver.
After Rétromobile, Bentley heads to the 13th Annual Boca Concours d’Elegance in Florida on February 22-24; then there’s an exhibition at Bonhams auction house on New Bond Street, London, on April 11, followed by the Bentley Drivers Club Centenary Extraordinary Drive from the north coast of Scotlandto London via the factory at Crewe on March 15-31. The next Centenary stop is the Benjafield’s Racing Club WO Bentley race at Silverstone on April 13, followed by entries in the Mille Miglia. Italy, May 15-18. Most appropriately, Bentley will also be celebrating at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, France, on June 15-16–scene of six Bentley victories–closely followed by the more genteel Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club Annual Rally & Concours at Burghley House stately home, Stamford, UK on June 21.
Then it’s on to the super-sophisticated Chantilly Arts & Elegance concours event near Paris, France on June 30, the Rolls-Royce Owners Club National Meeting in Detroit on July 22-27, Monterey Car Week for August 13-18 (including special displays at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 18) and finally Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance, where the Bentley Drivers Club is planning for the largest ever gathering of Bentleys in one place. That’s September 6-8 at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, UK. Got all that? Good!
Images courtesy of Bentley