Sunday, 9 September 2012
Bentley at Windsor
If the hallmark is cars you’ve never seen before, Windsor’s Concours matched Pebble Beach. Nobody knows who commissioned the Art Deco body on the Jonckheere Rolls-Royce Phantom I, with its circular doors, because the Belgian coachbuilders’ records were lost in the War. I’m not sure it is entirely successful, despite winning the 1935 Prix de Cannes at the Riviera Concours. The judges must have loved the huge fin, but as a period piece with a puzzling past it is exquisite. I do not recall ever even seeing a photograph of it, yet Thorough Events managed to include it in an astonishing array in an inner courtyard of Windsor Castle. Once the morning mists have blown off the beach and the Pacific is a shimmering blue, the 18th fairway at Pebble Beach is splendid, but the battlements of Windsor have their own grandeur.
Lalique splendour on a Bentley prow? The catalogue made no mention of the Lalique-style mascot on the Maharajah of Jaipur's 1930 Speed Six.
Sloping cliff on the Jonckheere Art Deco created by who knows whom? Rolls-Royce probably did not like the lean-back of its famous radiator shell. An astonishing car.
I don't think I have ever seen a Fiat 8V outside an Italian museum and this 1953 Ghia 'supersonic' (it probably wasn't) was a star exhibit at Windsor. The BMW 507 (opposite) was the same as one Ruth and I took on a Guild of Motoring Writers Classic. TOP PHOTO: The history of the 1938 Embiricos Pourtout Coupe is well documented in The Complete Bentley (Dove Publishing).