Bentley Motors celebrates its 100th Anniversary this year with a spectacular weekend of activities planned appropriately, at ‘Britain’s Greatest Palace’, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. Officially nominated to host the celebrations, Salon Privé, along with Bentley Motors and the Bentley Drivers Club will celebrate a weekend of celebration culminating in a record gathering of in excess of 1,000 Bentleys from around the world.
Privately-owned Bentleys will be joined by some of the most historically important models ever made which currently reside in Bentley’s own Heritage Collection. These include EXP 2 from 1920; the most historically important as well as the oldest surviving Bentley, the 1929 Team Blower, 1 of just four built, a 1940 Mark V, 1 of just seven built, the 2003 Le Mans-winning Speed 8 and on up to the very latest Generation 2 GT3-R.
Saturday 7th September
SALON PRIVÉ BENTLEY MASTERS
The weekend of celebrations kicks off with the Salon Privé Bentley Masters and in excess of 60 of the rarest and most beautiful Bentleys gathered from around the world. From the earliest model still in existence to the very latest off the production line, our carefully curated collection tells the story of Bentley Motors from the early racing days and Le Mans wins through to its current position as a manufacturer of some of the fastest and most luxurious cars in the world. With Lobster luncheon and Pommery Champagne on tap, it promises to be a spectacular day and a fitting tribute to this iconic British marque.
1920 Bentley EXP 2
EXP 2. This 3-litre, two-seater Sports Tourer, on loan from the Bentley Motors Heritage Collection, is regarded as the most historically important Bentley.
The factory’s second prototype, it’s the oldest surviving model, being exactly 99 years old this year. It’s also the first to be raced and the first to gain a victory; in its motorsports career it enjoyed 11 wins and seven second places.
1929 Bentley Speed Six
The Speed Six was introduced to this dazzling climate at the Olympia Motor Show in October 1928 as a sports version of the 6 1/2-litre Standard Six road car. The Standard Six was never intended as a sporting chassis but results achieved on-track during the 1928 racing season made it painfully clear that the 4 1/2-litre engine was rapidly becoming underpowered in comparison to the competition. Given this, proprietor, W.O. Bentley, allocated an early Standard Six chassis to the company’s racing shop so that it could be developed for the 1929 season.
Le Mans rules required that cars raced must be production catalogue models. This ensured that the Speed Six was quickly introduced for sale to the general public. Out of 544 6 1/2-litre examples made in Cricklewood, just 182 were to Speed Six specification.
1957 Bentley S1 Continental DHC
Chassis number BC93BG is one of just 58 right hand drive all aluminium bodied drophead coupes by Park Ward for the S1 Continental chassis.
Sunday 8th September
SALON PRIVÉ CLASSIC & SUPERCAR
Presenting the world’s ‘LARGEST-EVER COLLECTION OF BENTLEYS’
Continuing the celebrations on Sunday, Bentley Drivers Club is set to host its annual Concours d’Elegance on the beautifully manicured North Lawns alongside which, in excess of 1,000 Bentleys will gather in celebration. An incredible collection of privately-owned models will be on display from the Cricklewood, Derby, Crewe and Vickers periods through to current models under the ownership of Volkswagen. Of the later cars, some notable models will be on display including a Continental GT Zagato, one of only nine built, a Continental GT V8 S ‘art car’, decorated by the creative brush of celebrated artist Sir Peter Blake, and, with a nod to Bentley’s famous racing heritage, an awesome 2019 Continental GT3 race car courtesy of leading motorsports outfit Team Parker Racing.
1929 Bentley 4 1/2-litre Team Blower
This particular Blower, registration UU 5872, is one of only four Team Cars built at legendary Bentley Boy Sir Tim Birkin’s factory and is on loan from the Bentley Motors Heritage Collection. Known as Team Car No2, it’s one of the rarest, most valuable Bentleys still in existence.
It possesses a mighty supercharged 4½-litre engine, installed to help it succeed on the race track, particularly at Le Mans. It raced at La Sarthe in 1930, led the 24 Hours and broke the lap record at 89.69mph.
1930 Bentley 8-litre
The 8-litre, on loan from the Bentley Motors Heritage Collection, was the largest and most luxurious car of its time when it was built in 1930; it’s also the last model to be designed by W.O. himself who used it as his personal transport.
The car features an HJ Mulliner-created saloon body atop a 12-foot short wheelbase chassis and enjoyed a maximum power output of 200-230bhp. It is believed to be the inspiration for the modern Mulsanne.
1934 Bentley 3 1/2-litre
This car was delivered new to the 10th Duke of Marlborough in November 1934 and therefore has a special affinity with Blenheim Palace. The coachwork is a three-position drophead which provides an elegant appearance especially in the middle (half-open) position.