Club History

Founded by Keston Pelmore in March 1936, the Official Bentley Drivers Club has steadily grown to a world-wide family of over 3,700.

About The Club

Keston Pelmore, whose initiative launched the Club, was an enthusiastic young owner of Vintage Bentleys, commencing with a rather tired 3 litre he purchased in 1933. Captivated by the experience of "REAL motoring such as I had never experienced before", Pelmore, embodying the all-consuming enthusiasm and exhilaration that Bentley motoring has engendered for more than 80 years, wanted to share this experience with likeminded fortunate individuals.

Having decided on his course of action, Pelmore had printed up a number of cards, headed 'Bentley Drivers Club', which he affixed to the windscreen of every Vintage Bentley he could find in the various car parks at Brooklands during the first meeting of the season in March 1936. The invitation was to the owner to contact the above if he was interested in the formation of such a Club, and was then invited to attend an inaugural meeting at his small bachelor flat in Sloane Avenue, London SW3.

So good was the response - 26 people turned up - it became necessary for a phone call to be made to the nearby Boltons Hotel in Earls Court Road, who agreed to provide a suitable private room in which the meeting could re-convene. A Committee was elected, and within a month, a run was organised to the Old Bell at Hurley in Berkshire which attracted no less than 31 Bentleys. Later that year, a 2 lap race on the Outer Circuit took place at Brooklands which attracted 14 entrants. Clearly, Keston Pelmore had successfully identified the need for a Club specifically for these iconic and inspirational motor cars.

The Club ended 1936 with 54 Members, which rose steadily to 110 by the outbreak of war in 1939. During that time, Woolf Barnato agreed to become President, and other notable Members included Dr JD Benjafield, Bertie Kensington-Moir, Frank Clement and WO Bentley himself, who always expressed surprise, but pleasure that the cars that he had created should continue to exercise such a hold over their owners. Sadly, the conflict brought Bentley activity to a complete halt, and the conflict took the lives of some of those pre-war pioneers, including Keston Pelmore.