I read with interest your request for information about Bamber’s of Lancashire (as it says on the maker’s plate) who had their name affixed to a body for a 3-litre Bentley which another American has written about. He is referring to my old car, reg. no. CX 6624, which went from me to Bob Sutherland to Austin Clark to somewhere. This car was restored by Fred Hoffman during 1971-72. The paint and upholstery were done by Jack Loveday of Stratton St Margaret’s. During the course of Jack’s work he discovered two items of interest. The first was that a door had been framed in on the offside for the driver. Of course there is nothing so useless as a driver’s side door on a 3-litre Bentley. In any event, the door frame was securely screwed to the door jambs and threshold and the outer aluminium skin over that area was sheet with no sign of inletting or welding. When the door frame was removed to renew the packing in the joint, another maker’s plate, identical to the one on the functioning door was revealed. I thus surmise that Bamber was indeed capable of bespoke coachwork.
The second interesting thing that appeared was that there was no provision for the fitment of a top (hood). Nowhere was the aluminium skin nor the wood frame beneath pierced or marked for bows or tacking strips. Of course the car had had no top when I got it, but I always assumed that that was the result of some off-hand customising during an earlier tenure. Indeed it had always been what I always called it, a sunshine car.
The Bentley gave a great service from the first day I bought it from Ivor & Capt J. Gordon of Frank Day and Stepsons, that most delightfully curiously (and appropriately) named store. Its last great adventure was the drive from Boulder to Los Angeles for the 50th Arunversary of the Marque. We made good time through the glory of Western Autumn to California where the car was given great hospitality by the men of the Cunningham Museum who pampered it back to cleanliness and lent us what few things we needed to set right the rigour of a quick 2,500 miles. Three times we were stopped by the cops, but each time they “just wanted to have a look”.
We were treated well by our fine host Mr Wisdom who imports to us most of the drinkable beer we have here in the US. After a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, possibly one of the 10 finest pieces of driving on the North American Continent, the cross-shaft gears which always fail on 3-litres failed, and there we were. The rest of the story is sad, common, and part of the price of vintage motoring. Boulder, Co. R. J. SEIFFERT