The Bentley and the Chauffeur

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

The first time I saw a 3 1/2-litre Bentley, the sensation of 1933, was when I was associated with an aviation and motor-racing monthly magazine produced from Brooklands Aerodrome. It was a tourer (ALU 622), which came to us for appraisal, delivered by a uniformed chauffeur. When we were ready to commence the road-test we asked the man if he would like to wait in our office or take refreshment at the Aero Club. “I am sorry, sir”, he replied, “but I have to remain with the car at all times”. “But we are about to take it round the Track,” we told him. It made no difference. He accompanied us, sitting in the back, holding on to his chauffeur’s hat, as we drove along the bankings at around 90mph.

Test times were brief in those days but the piece I wrote must have appealed to the PR chap at R-R owned Bentley Motors, because they ordered reprints and we got E G M Wilks to do a big drawing for it. He included the chauffeur. I had assumed that the reason this man had to remain with the Bentley was because we were small-fly compared to The Autocar or The Motor. So I was surprised to come upon a photograph the other day of the great Geoffrey Smith, Managing Editor of The Autocar, testing another 3 1/2-litre Bentley tourer (RC 1351) a week prior to the 1933 Olympia Motor Show, with the chauffeur beside him! It seems that he too was only allowed to drive the car for a short time because after collecting it in London he wrote of trying it up Aston Hill (which he described as a “once famous trials ground” in fact, it had been a famous speed-venue). Mr Smith also drove up other gradients around Ivinghoe and along by-lanes in Hertfordshire.

We were all very impressed by the new Bentley, although at Brooklands, after we had tested the straight-eight Railton, which was nearly as fast, accelerated a little better, and cost only £499 against the Bentley’s £1390, we did have muted reservations. And at the time of the new ‘Silent Sports Car’ the Rolls-Royce PII Continental saloon was quicker.