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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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April 2010 Issue
 
ARTICLE
Chassis 141: The Story of the First LeMans Bentley, Clare Hay, 2009
Book review by Robert McLellan
 

It is internationally known that I have a desire to document the history of every Vintage Bentley ever built, and in 2006 we created an interactive web site where all Vintage Bentley owners and enthusiasts could post information and photographs of every W.O chassis ever built. Now, Clare Hay, the world's foremost Vintage Bentley historian has compiled all available information and photographs on Chassis 141 into a magnificent work. She has done for owner Peter Briggs what every owner tries to undertake — a complete history of their car.

"Chassis 141" tells the story of the first British entry in the famed LeMans 24 Hour Race in 1923. This is the origin of one of the most legendary teams in motorsport history — the "Bentley Boys" — a group of wealthy playboys who drove Bentley racing cars in major events across Europe.

Australian motoring historian, editor and designer of the book, Graeme Cocks points out that the book is appealing as it chronicles the story of the people and the car back in the 1920s and then traces it right through to its discovery in a barn in the 1980s, then how the car was shipped to Australia and totally restored by Peter Briggs and John Hunting in Perth.

"We wanted this book to appeal to historians and motoring enthusiasts who would be interested to see how such a famous car is restored from start to finish — few books are prepared to show cars covered in rust — usually they just show the end results which are always absolutely pristine," Mr. Cocks said. "As one of the world's most valuable cars, we wanted to make sure that the book did justice to its historical significance and the research which went into its restoration."

Anyone who enjoys vintage cars and restoring them, will find this book an inspiration to get out and turn a wrench on their car. From rusty parts to a fine sporting machine, just takes encouragement and this book is a shot of adrenalin. Recommended to the true enthusiast.

Chassis 141: The Story of the First LeMans Bentley has been produced in two editions — a deluxe leather case edition which has been limited to 200 copies and a hardcover edition. It is available at www.lemansbentley.com.au.

 

The restored Chassis no. 141
 
 
 
The Automotive Chronicles, April 2010
 
 
 
 
 
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