Last October I commented on the errors that had crept into hand-outs from the Rolls-Royce Motor Car Co about Bentley history, when it was announcing the new Bentley Brooklands. I admitted that I drop the odd clanger myself (of which readers quickly inform me) but these R-R ones seemed to constitute a bit of a record. Now BBC Video has joined in! In a blurb about their video The Power and the Glory, Vicky Haigh of the BBC Enterprises Press Office informs us that “the first GP was won 85 years ago at 73mph and in this year’s competition held in Indiannapolis (sic) the winner averaged 176mph”. It is generally accepted that the first (French) Grand Prix was held in 1906 and won at 63mph, and these races had no connection with Indianapolis.
The blurb goes on to tell us that the “Millie (sic) Miglia, Targa Florio and Carrera PanAmericana races were banned in 1950 following the deaths of drivers and spectators”. In fact, the last Mille Miglia was held in 1957, the Targa Florio continued into the ’70s, and the Carrera PanAmericana lasted until 1954. Vicky Haigh then says “the brilliant red cars of Italy — so elegant and easy to drive — dominated GP racing after World War One”. I don’t know about the lady finding them easy to drive, or her statistics, but note that she lists the Bentley under “Grand Prix Aristocrats”. I know also that Indy is not, as the hand-out suggests, a board-track lapped at 260mph, although the video is said to have “Rick Means” telling us how he did just that. (This year’s fastest qualifying lap was 232.482mph.)
Not much glory for BBC Video! Come on BBC, you can do better than this!