Eoin Young's Collector's
Column no. 7
Old Car Imaginings
splendid photograph of the H.M. Bentley 6 -litre two-seater with
its slanted pair of spares at the tail and the big Brooklands silencers
came with a scrapbook page of old car ads from Spencer Elton's stand
at VSCC Donington. There were two photographs of similar H.M.
Bentley cars that really looked the business. Both had a pair
of vertical rear-mounted spare wheels with the slab tank between
the wheels and the cockpit. As understand it from one
of the older Bentley fellers at Donington, H.M. Bentley (W.O.'s brother)
ran the previously owned sales department in the 1930s when RR had
taken over the new-car side of Bentley and they built what I imagine
were the first of the dreaded 'replicas' so despised a generation
or so later by those who could afford the "real thing". Being
a card-carrying Philistine, I think replicas are great. Also
about a thousand miles closer to my wallet. We were at an earlier
Donington and standing on the balcony at the back of the pits. I
asked my mate if he supposed the XKSS Jaguar on the other side of
the paddock, was a real one or a replica. 'Definitely a replica,'
he said. But how could he possibly know from this distance? 'Easy. If
it was a real one it would have a security guard'.
I digress. As I understand it, H.M. Bentley & Partners were one of the
first into the replica market, buying up those stately only Bentley Weymann
saloons or well-used or mildly bent tourers, and converted to extremely racy
two-seat sports models. "H.M." was offering a 4 -litre short chassis
with a top speed of 105mph for £425 or a similarly-styled 90mph 3-litre
for £295, both of which look like something of a spare change bargain
in modern terms.
Jack Lemon Burton's ad boasted that he had "The largest stock
of Bugatti road and racing cars in the world - the following types of Bugatti
are always in stock being recently imported from France. Most of
the cars have bee owned by the following world-famous drivers: L.
Chiron, Varzi, Leoz, Chaude, the late Marcel Lehoux, the late Gaupillat, the
late Count Czaikowski and many others, equally famous." And also, presumably,
equally "late" making one wonder whether they went to meet their maker in the
car Jack was offering. He had three 1 -litre Bugattis - a 4cyl GP, an
8cyl GP and your choice of single- or double-cam GPs. Plus a 2-litre
GP, a choice of 2.3 single or double cam GPs, 3.3-litre touring and saloon
cars and a 4.9 supercharged Le Mans racing chassis fitted with roadster and
coupe bodywork. Sadly no prices listed.
Brooklands, however, the legendary Thomson (no "p") and Taylor had a 2.3 supercharged
130mph Bugatti at £250 and they could do a family deal of Alfa Romeos,
with a 2.9-litre supercharged monoposto (a P3, presumably) which was quoted
at 160mph and was yours for only £750, a 140mph Monza at £550 or
a 2.3 110mph Mille Miglia 2-seater at £625. Or a 2.5-litre blown
single-seater 145mph Maserati for £425. Or a supercharged
1100cc K3 115mph MG Magnette at 300mph.
a fast trip down memory lane. Excuse me for the misty eyes!
To read previous
click on the links below:
SCRAPBOOKS and THE EDDIE HALL PHOTO ALBUM MYSTERY
GOODWOOD CIRCUIT REVIVAL 2001
SPRING RACING IN NEW ZEALAND
5. "CHASING THE TITLE"- A 'must-read' book...
HERMANN BEATS THE TRAIN
OLD CAR IMAGININGS
NEW BOOKS, PRESCOTT AND GOODWOOD 2002
FIXING FORMULA ONE
CLASSIC RACERS, FORZA AMON! and COLIN CHAPMAN
MY NEW BOOK... & BERNIE'S NEW BOOK
SELLING AT GOODWOOD AND BUYING AT BEAULIEU
TARGA NEW ZEALAND, BRABHAM ON SCHUMACHER, AMON ON CLARK
IT STILL BEATS WORKING!
PUSHING BUTTONS; F1 DRIVER SHUFFLES
STILL OPEN FOR BUSINESS
COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS IN WARSAW
Eoin Young is a
who left a bank job to join Bruce McLaren and help set up his racing
More or less. He arrived in the UK in 1961 as a freelance journalist,
the Formula Junior season with Denny Hulme, joined McLaren in 1962.
director of team. Established Motormedia 1966. Started weekly "Autocar" diary
page in 1967 -- it ran until 1998. Covered CanAm, Indy and GP series.
In 1979 established as a dealer in rare motoring and motor racing books
and ephemera. Still trading with regular lists. Autobiography "It
Beats Working" published in 1996. with its sequel "It Still beats Working"
in 2003. He lives in tiny low-beam period
cottage in Bookham, Surrey. Drives VW Golf VR6.
The stock of
books and ephemera is constantly changing.
here to view the current catalogue.