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More on Bentley in these books:

Bentley Continental Genesis

Bentley - 50 Years of the Marque




Car of the Month - July 2023
100th Anniversary: Bentley at '24 Hours of Le Mans'
Bentley 3 Litre, 1923, #144 Tourer by Vanden Plas and
Bentley 3 Litre, 1924, #582

A key element for the Bentley brand having achieved an enviable level of fame have been the sports cars' victories in competitive events. Outstanding among these were the legendary triumphs at the "24 Hours of Le Mans". Victory laurels on the Sarthe race track have been collected in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930. After an intermezzo of more than 70 years, cars with the "Winged B" again competed on the Le Mans race track in 2001; 3rd position meant a place on the podium. The convincing new start reached a pinnacle in 2003 when on the racecourse in France Bentley did achieve 1st and 2nd place. Hence it might be considered to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the first race at Le Mans and to raise a glass of champagne, too, perhaps on the 20th Anniversary of Bentley adding what so far has been their latest success on the French racecourse.

It all had started with participation in the first ever race at Le Mans 100 years ago. In the 1923 competition the Bentley 3 Litre, chassis-number 141, finished by crossing the final line in 4th position. This car had been a private entry by drivers John Duff and Frank Clement. Hence the annals of the history of the "24 Hours at Le Mans, 26 and 27 May 1923" is sparkling a note "4th place: Bentley 3 Litre, #141."

Bentley 3 Liter
By 2017 on chassis #141 had been finished an exact re-creation of that Tourer body which had been on the car when entered in the 1923 event at Le Mans. (2017 Photo: Niko Scheerbarth)

However the brave pilots showed they could do better. Again they brought a Bentley 3 Litre to celebrate the specific start-procedure at Le Mans. This time they did benefit from what could be provided by 'Manufacturer’s Assistance' which merely was at an infant stage. John Duff and Frank Clement finished the 24 Hours of Le Mans which lasted from 14th to 15 June 1924 achieving 1st Place. Their motor with chassis-number #582 and engine-number 588 was regularly registered for every-day-traffic with registration XT 1606.

Bentley 3 Liter

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On this occasion Walter Owen Bentley, founder of the company that produced cars bearing his name, has been among the first to congratulate the drivers on their tremendous success.

Bentley 3 Liter

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