News & Events

Rare Photographs of the 1925 Bentley 3 Litre Factory Le Mans entry unearthed

28 May 2012

Rare Photographs of the 1925 Bentley 3 Litre Factory Le Mans entry unearthed

One of the great joys of working with important old cars is what turns up whilst researching their history, these little seen photos being a first rate example. Whilst investigating the history of the first Bentley factory Le Mans entry from 1925, a 3 Litre that we are currently offering for sale, marque specialist Clare Hay uncovered these fabulous photos.

The first is of the two works drivers, Dudley Benjafield and Bertie Kensington-Moir, waiting at scrutineering before the start of the race. As you can see, they were appropriately dressed for the occasion and the Bentley was still looking very clean!

The second picture, with the hood erected, captures what must have been a heartbreaking moment for the Bentley team. 1925 was the first year of the classic Le Mans start, with rules stating that the first 20 laps had to be run with the hood up. This also governed when a car could first stop for fuel and water, and Bentley decided to combine lowering the roof and a petrol stop into one. The minimum amount of fuel for the 20 laps had been calculated, the Bentley starting well and setting a remarkable pace, with Kensington Moir regularly achieving over 90 mph. However there had been a serious error in the calculations: no one had taken into account the extra fuel used when the hood was erect, and none of the Bentley’s made the required 20 laps.

For more information on this hugely important vintage Bentley, please contact us here in our London office.

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