Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Belgian Bentleys in Tenterden.

What a lovely sight! A vintage 3-litre Bentley of the type that formerly roared around the Le Mans 24 Hour circuit. I found two of them parked in Tenterden High Street on Saturday morning and they did rather look at home in their surroundings.

The Belgian owners were having a cup of tea outside a nearby tea shop whilst keeping a watchful eye on their vehicles – each one would be worth several hundred thousands of pounds. Both had been well restored and discreetly updated to render them driveable on today's roads. Inspecting the instrument panel I was interested to note that the red section on the rev. counter stretched from 3 to 4 thousand revs – apparently a long-legged motor, not a high revver. The speedometer was calibrated up to 180 mph. I tried to imagine the driver handling the vehicle at that speed with no power assisted steering.

Enzo Ferrari once disparaged this breed of Bentley with the observation that they were, 'the fastest lorry in the world.'

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