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The Automotive Chronicles

Monthly newsletter published by McLellan's Automotive History. Dedicated to literature collectors, restorers, museums, publishers, manufacturers and investors who collect and preserve automotive literature
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March 2007 Issue
 
ARTICLE
 
Vintage Bentleys
By Robert McLellan
 

Not many auto enthusiasts are old enough to remember when pre-World War II cars were new, and those who do are most likely selling off their collections, not buying them. Those of us who are infatuated with those ancient cars are probably more interested in their rich history than in nostalgia. Duesenbergs, Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts, Bugattis - all will not be forgotten because of their significance in automotive history.

We all have our favorite historical make. Having devoted so much time to so many prewar marques and owning several, I have confirmed multiple times that Vintage Bentley is my favorite. Consequently, building a website devoted to them seemed appropriate.

Like Rembrandts, Picassos and Monets, all great works of art are expensive and excellent investments. To auto afficionados the great ones of the past are more than just works of art. They represent breakthroughs in engineering, performance, design and quality. W. O. Bentley set out to build cars that were the best in all those aspects. He then proved his accomplishments on the track by adding reliability to the list. Vintage Bentleys were only built from 1919 through 1931, but during that time they won the 24 Hour LeMans Endurance Race five times - 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930. Today Vintage Bentleys share center stage with other greats.

Ken W. Purdy, brilliant auto historian and author, once said, "If you can only own three great cars, choose a [Vintage] Bentley, Bugatti and Duesenberg. If you can afford six, buy two [Vintage] Bentleys, two Bugattis and two Duesenbergs." Purdy died in 1972 before I was able to ask him, if I could only own one, which should I choose. I hope he is pleased by my choice. Maybe you agree.

For those of you collecting literature on these magnificent marques, I present my personal collection of Vintage Bentley sales literature.

 
 
The Automotive Chronicles, March 2007
 
 
 
 
 
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