Huge congratulations to Christopher Woodhouse whose beautiful 1930 Speed Six Le Mans (pictured), clothed in stunning Vanden Plas bodywork, was named as the overall Concours winner at the BDC's 75th Summer Concours & Party.
The event – title sponsored by NW Risk Solutions, the Club’s new insurance adviser – was held yesterday in the idyllic rural surroundings of the 124-acre Kelmarsh Hall & Gardens parkland estate in Northamptonshire.
A delighted Christopher (pictured with wife Ingrid) was presented with the prestigious WO Bentley Memorial Foundation Trophy by Club Chairman Phillip Hine during the trophy drive-by presentation ceremony held in front of the main house.
Well done, too, to Christopher’s fellow Club Member Robert Hickman whose superb 1937 Derby 4¼, featuring an extremely rare cabriolet body by Vesters & Neirinck of Brussels, won the coveted Bentley Motors Trophy, also presented by Phillip, as the overall Patina class winner.
In all, 14 awards were presented in the various Concours and Patina classes along with the Inter-Regional Team Challenge accolade (see list of winners, below). Aside from Phillip, Georgina Wood handed out the P&A Wood trophy and Emma Crickmay the Frank Dale & Stepsons award.
Andrew Storer had the distinction of claiming two class awards with his lovely 1958 S1: the Frank Dale & Stepsons trophy (best R Type or S Type Continental) and the Patina category Crewe Spares Scheme trophy (open and saloon Crewe 1 – early period).
Meanwhile, the Kensington Gardens trophy (Inter-Regional Team Challenge) was won by the East Midlands Region whose three-car team was comprised entirely of Derbys – a fitting triumph in this the 90th anniversary year of the model.
Following the inclement weather of the previous day, Concours day itself was mercifully dry (until, conveniently, the moment the presentations finished when it suddenly hammered down) and attracted a turnout of around 175 Bentleys, carrying Club Members, their families, friends and guests.
The event provided, as it always does, a wonderful opportunity for friends to catch up and socialise within a quintessentially English garden-party atmosphere.
Twenty beautiful Bentleys of all ages were judged in the myriad Concours categories and visitors were able to take a close look at these to decide which were their favourites.
Adding a welcome touch to the day, and the skies, were two magnificent fly-pasts, both courtesy of the RAF: the world-famous Red Arrows aerobatic team (en route to performing a display at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone) and an evocative World War II Avro Lancaster, the latter appearing courtesy of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flights programme.
To take a break from the serious business of looking over all the fantastic Bentleys lined up in the main field, Members and guests were able to take in the many delights offered by the opulent 18th century Kelmarsh Hall estate; this was both inside the main house, when several visitors adjourned to the Great Hall for a delicious pre-booked buffet lunch, and outside looking around the ornate gardens.
For those guests who wished to enjoy their lunch al fresco, several took advantage of the superb picnic hampers created by award-winning chef and Masterchef finalist Sci Daniels aka The Urban Caterer.
Guests also browsed the Club Shop, which saw a brisk trade all day, and the neighbouring Bentley Memorial Foundation (WOBMF) area. The WOBMF which featured a display highlighting the Club’s Concours history (1947-2023) along with Club Member Roland Duce’s beautifully restored Derby 3½, aka The Airflow Bentley, displayed outside.
The weekend’s activities kicked off on the Saturday with Philip Strickland’s enjoyable 55-mile driving tour, starting at Kelmarsh and including a lunch stop at the White Horse in Tilbrook, followed by the now traditional gala dinner (preceded by a drinks reception) held in the Great Hall.
Best in Show – WO Bentley Memorial Foundation trophy: Christopher Woodhouse (1930 Speed Six Le Mans)
Patina Class overall winner – Bentley Motors trophy: Robert Hickman (1937 Derby 4¼)
President’s trophy – Vintage: Christopher Woodhouse (1930 Speed Six Le Mans)
RA Parker trophy – Crewe T Type, Turbo, Brooklands, Eight and Continental: John Proctor (2007 Arnage R)
HR Owen trophy – Crewe modern: Peter Ostle (2015 Continental GTC)
P&A Wood trophy – amateur-owner restored: Charles Teall (1926 6½ Litre)
Daks trophy (Master class) – Concours class winner in past three years: Richard Harwood (1956 S1)
WAL Cook trophy – Derby 3½ and 4¼: Not awarded
Ivor Gordon trophy – Crewe Mk VI, R Type and S Type: Not awarded
Vintage Spares Scheme trophy – open and saloon Vintage: Robert Middelmann (1930 Speed Six)
Derby Technical Scheme trophy – open and saloon Derby: Robert Hickman (1937 Derby 4¼)
Crewe Spares Scheme trophy – open and saloon Crewe 1 (early period): Andrew Storer (1958 S1)
Britannia Motors trophy – open and saloon Crewe 2 (later period): Jonathan Wycherley (1997 Turbo R)
Varley trophy – open and saloon Crewe 3 (most modern): Diana Green Davy (2019 Continental GTC)
Specials trophy – Sarah Smith (1949 Mk VI)
Frank Dale & Stepsons trophy – R Type or S Type Continental: Andrew Storer (1958 S1)
Kensington Gardens trophy (Inter-Regional Team Challenge) – best three-car team: East Midlands Region (1934 Derby 3½ – Jeremy Marshall Roberts, 1938 Derby 4¼ – David O’Connor and 1936 Derby 3½ – Colin Gibson)
Ayres trophy – Mk VI or R Type coachbuilt body: Not awarded
Full report with images in August's Review.
Image: Courtesy of James Knowles
CONCOURS 2024: Next year's Summer Concours & Party will be held at Rushton Hall, in Northamptonshire, from 19-21 July.