Carpet Mats

Over the past few days, Lydia has been cutting and binding the carpets for our 1963 Bentley S3. The originals were in a poor state,

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Back In The Workshop

Our 1963 Bentley S3 has recently returned to the Bridge Classic Cars workshop. As you can see, from the photos below, it now looks very

Read More »

Carpet Mats

Over the past few days, Lydia has been cutting and binding the carpets for our 1963 Bentley S3. The originals were in a poor state, dirty and also covered in moth damage. She took the pattern from these and created new ones, and then bound the edges in leather which has been used on the rest of the interior.

New home for the Bentley

Congratulations to Hugh Carville, winner with ticket number 358. Tony set off bright and early this morning to meet Hugh and hand him the keys to his wonderful new car.

Door Trims

Neil has refitted the refurbished door trims to our 1993 Bentley Turbo R.

Back In The Workshop

Our 1963 Bentley S3 has recently returned to the Bridge Classic Cars workshop. As you can see, from the photos below, it now looks very different to how it did a few months ago when it first arrived.

When it arrived back, Jonn had to free off the brakes. To do this, he removed the front wheels and stripped the brakes. He removed the shoes and placed them inside the car before refitting the drums and wheels.

The First Ever Bentley To Race At Le Mans Has Sold

100 years ago, the first Bentley and, in fact, the first British car, competed in the first-ever Le Mans 24-hour race. This Bentley 3-litre has lived a storied life since that first race and has recently been sold to a British enthusiast for more than £3 million.

The sale was brokered by Kidston SA which was founded by Simon Kidston. Simon is the nephew of Glen Kidston who actually won the 1930 Le Mans race in a Bentley. It seems fitting that someone with a connection to the brand like this was involved in the sale of this special car that represents the beginning of the Bentley legend and the tradition of ‘The Bentley Boys’.

Kidston, Clement, Duff and others like Sir Tim Birkin, Dr Dudley Benjafield or one-time Bentley Chairman Woolf Barnato would become known as ‘The Bentley Boys’ for their hard-charging racing lifestyle. When speaking about ‘The Bentley Boys’, W.O Bentley, the founder of Bentley said “The public liked to imagine them living in Mayfair flats. Drinking Champagne in nightclubs, playing the horses and the Stock Exchange, and beating furiously around the racing tracks at the weekend. Of several of them, this was not such an inaccurate picture.”

The Car

The story of this car, Chassis 141, begins with Canadian World War 1 veteran (and Bentley dealer), John Duff. He drove the car at the British Double 12-hour Race at Brooklands and ended up setting 38 international records while driving the Bentley more than 2000 miles at around 86mph. After John felt that this was a successful outing, he asked W.O. Bentley to prepare the car for the debuting 24-hour endurance race that was to launch in Le Mans, France.

W.O. Bentley thought that this was a mad idea but, nonetheless, prepared the car and sent the factory test driver, Frank Clement, to co-drive for John. It was this pairing that resulted in the successful completion of the first-ever Le Mans race with a finishing position of joint 4th, along with the lap record of 66.69mph. This was all achieved in this very special Bentley that only had rear brakes and ended up running out of fuel due to stones from the unpaved track puncturing the tank!

The following year, Bentley and ‘The Bentley Boys’ returned to Le Mans but, this time, they won the 24-hour race. Bentley went on to win four successive times from 1927 to 1930 which created one of the most dominant runs in the history of the race. None of that would have happened if it hadn’t been for Chassis 141 proving to W.O. Bentley that his cars were very much capable of winning endurance races like this.

Chassis 141 and John Duff can be credited as playing a huge part in the long-term success of Bentley. If you follow the story of the brand’s success, it pretty much begins with Chassis 141!

Things Slow Down For This Special Bentley

After the excitement of its racing life, Chassis 141 lived a slower life being used as a towing vehicle, an undertaker’s car, and it was even used to transport St.Bernard dogs to shows throughout the 1940s. It then disappeared until the 1980s when the owner of Donington Car Museum received a call from a 97-year-old lady saying she had 2 old cars in her barn if he wanted them.

The museum owner purchased both cars, not knowing just how special the Bentley was, so the car sat as a project for a while. It wasn’t until a motoring journalist identified it as the long-lost first Bentley to race at Le Mans that it became apparent the massively important piece of motoring history was in his possession. Eventually, Chassis 141 was sent to an Australian collector, Peter Briggs, who restored the car before making it the centrepiece of the Briggs’ York Motor Museum near Perth.

Now that it is back in Britain after a British collector became its new owner, the story of Chassis 141 has come full circle and it has come home to where it all began.

Simon Kidston said:
“This week the most famous motor race in the world celebrates its 100th birthday and its pioneering early competitors remain as intriguing as ever. This Bentley isn’t just an old car, it’s a turning point in motor racing history and a cornerstone of the Bentley legend. And personally, having inherited a family passion for cars which was accelerated by my ‘Bentley Boy’ uncle, helping to bring this Bentley home feels really satisfying. It won’t be leading a quiet life: it’ll be lining up on the grid of the Le Mans 100th anniversary race for vintage cars next month. I hope its original drivers will be looking down and smiling.”

Chassis 141 – The First Bentley To Race At Le Mans

It’s not very often that a car with as much history and as much importance to motor racing history and, indeed, to motoring history, in general, is sold. It may have come with a whopping price tag of more than £3 million but, at last, Chassis 141, will return to Le Mans and get the recognition it deserves as a true legend of motoring.

The End of an Era – Bentley Announces the End of the W12

After 2 decades in production and over 100,000 units having been produced, Bentley have finally announced that the production of their now legendary W12 engine will stop in April of 2024.

This engine came to define so much of the high-tech/high-performance character of modern Bentley’s of the 2000’s. The wonderfully balanced and soulful 6-litre power plant was originally only fitted to the high-speed Continental GT’s and Flying Spur’s but formed the basis of nearly every range topping Bentley from there after.

This endless source of momentum we knew could not last forever. With tougher emissions and Bentley’s (which is owned by the Volkswagen Group) aim of becoming more reliant of EV technology with its Beyond100 plan, the majestic twin-turbo 12 cylinder must be consigned to the history books when the last behemoth leaves Crewe early next year.

The automotive world were first introduced to the engine back in 2003 in the then brand new Continental GT. Now, unlike the infamous 6.75 litre Bentley/Rolls Royce V8 which has also has only recently cease to exist, the W12 was in constant development. By Bentley’s own admission, the 6-litre right now would make around 54% more torque than 20 years ago and around 25% less emissions thanks to turbo technology and more sophisticated engine management software becoming available and more widely developed.

The next phase of the Bentley engine line-up will be the further development of their twin-turbocharged V8 and all-new V6 technology while combining it with the advanced hybrid systems from their parent company Volkswagen. Bentley have said that the decision to end production was ”Our progressive journey towards sustainable luxury mobility means making changes to every area of Bentley Motors.” So to keep their share of the luxury car market, which is now a global and very lucrative market, they must adopt and adapt.

Although we will all mourn the loss of this engine and its endless wave of power, Bentley will be sending it off in true Bentley fashion with the limited-edition Batur. A 750BHP swan song to send the old girl off in style. As Bentley themselves put it in a press-release, ”20 years and more than 100,000 W12s later, the time has come to retire this now-iconic powertrain as we take strides towards electrification – but not without giving it the best send-off possible, with the most powerful version of the engine ever created”

So, on this day and on that fateful day in April of next year – let us celebrate the time we had and mourn the moments we will never experience with this legendary modern engine but look forward to a world it helped to create.

Rolls-Royce & Bentley Enthusiasts Meet

Highlights of this event can be seen here.

The Rolls-Royce & Bentley Enthusiasts will be hosting a private and exclusive event at Bridge Classic Cars on Sunday 16th April 2023.

Members of the club will have the opportunity to have a tour of our workshop as well as enjoy refreshments and spend some time with like-minded fellow Rolls-Royce & Bentley Enthusiasts.

This event is for members only!

More information can be found here.

Behind The Scenes – Live Draw of the 2008 Bentley Continental GT Speed

Last night, the Bridge Classic Cars team got together to find out who the fortunate new owner of our 2008 Bentley Continental GT Speed was.

This week, we were joined by our friend Sam from Bruizer to help us with the new video set-up. As the clock struck 7 o’clock, we welcomed our friends to our weekly Livestream. As everyone joined in, Molly and Freddie took everyone around our amazing Bentley one last time while there were still tickets available.

After showing everyone the video of our Bentley in action, Molly, Freddie and Craig went through some of the other amazing machines we currently have in our competition building. Just like our beautiful 1968 Morris Mini MkII 850, a car we’ve all become massively fond of and proving to be massively popular with our followers, so we showed our friends around it.

Then, it was time for our new history segment where Nick goes a little bit further in-depth into some of the cars and motorcycles that we currently have in. This time, it was the history of the 1994 Ducati 750SS going back to the early 1970s.

Afterwards, Molly introduced what the team had been up to the week before visiting Knowledge Visual Technology in Oxford to try out their racing simulator but then it was time! By the time the competition closed, there were only around 400 tickets remaining on the Bentley.

With our pre-published entry list now live on website, we could find out who the lucky new owner of the 2008 Bentley Continental GT Speed was using our random number generator.

Molly input the numbers for the generator to choose from and then it was down to one single click… The first number hadn’t been allocated. It took a few attempts until finally, we found it. Ticket 1630.

That number had been allocated to Terry Richardson. Terry was the winner of our 2008 Bentley Continental GT Speed.

He was absolutely ecstatic when we called him. He said that he was gonna use it every day for a while once it is delivered right to his doorstep very soon!

Make sure you watch along next week for the draw of our 1968 Morris Mini 850 MkII.

This Just In – 2008 Bentley Continental GT Speed

Just arrived at the Bridge Classic Cars Suffolk HQ is this absolutely stunning 2008 Bentley Continental GT Speed.

The luxury GT car has come in for our various teams to look over, inspect, assess and report back any findings they have for the car. Once they have compiled their report, we will bring you an update very soon on the legendary Continental GT Speed.

The Continental GT Speed was the fastest and most powerful option that could be specified by Bentley for its original owner. The 6-litre twin-turbo W12 makes a shade over 600BHP with an earth shuddering amount of torque, which was able to push this Flying B all the way past the 200MPH mark.

Another piece of the puzzle

Brian has been re-covering another piece from the 1963 Bentley S3 Continental. This time, the glovebox.

He started the process by removing the original covers from the metal box that makes the glovebox. He then used these original pieces as patterns on the new fabric, headlining fabric for most with one piece of leather. The headlining fabric pieces were glued onto the inside of the glovebox first, with the back piece having board underneath the material to give it structure and stability. Once this was all glued into place, Brian put the leather piece onto board as well, before glueing it onto the metal. All the material was wrapped around the edges to give a neat finish. Another piece of the Bentley interior finished!

Bentley’s black trim continues

Brian has been re-covering more panels for the 1963 Bentley S3 Continental. This time it’s been dash panels, the instrument cover, door cappings and various other panels. The process for all of them involved taking the original black leather off, followed by any foam that was on the panels, and then sanding off the old glue left behind on the wood and metal forms. Brian used the original leather pieces as patterns to mark out around on the new black leather. He replaced the original foam with new 3mm foam. The foam was glued on first and then the leather wrapped over it. Some of the panels, as you can see, just have leather covering them.

Another re-covering for the Bentley.

Brian has been re-covering these rear quarter backboards for the 1963 Bentley S3 Continental. They came to us as bare wood, without the original leather on. Brian put some poly-flex filler on parts where it wasn’t flat and sanded this down. He then cut some 3mm foam out for the top part and glued this onto the wood. New leather was marked out and cut out to cover this foam and was glued below the foam and underneath at the sides.

Bentley dash panels get a new lease of life!

Brian has been re-covering more panels for the 1963 Bentley S3 Chinese Continental.

This time, he’s done the panels that go underneath the dash, the dash rail panel, corner panel, the metal plate that goes with it, padded dash panels, and front-seat support wood.

He stripped the original leather off all of them, and any old foam that was underneath. Then sanded off the old glue. Most of the metal panels had 3mm foam glued onto them first, before adding the new leather on top and glueing underneath. The rest of the panels just had the new leather glued directly onto them.

Bentley Continental Seats Re-covered

Lydia has been working on recovering a pair of Bentley Continental seats. She has done the whole process from start to finish by hand. She’s replaced the foam, cut new leather from templates she’s made from the old cover, fitted, stitched and glued the new seats together with a keen attention to detail.