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Information on all W.O. Bentleys
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Bentley Drivers Club
U.S.A. South (Texas) Region
(Including Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma)
 
History of the Bentley Drivers Club

The Bentley Drivers Club was formed in April 1936 by an enthusiastic band of Bentley owners with the object of fostering the spirit of comradeship which existed between Bentley drivers and generally to co-ordinate enthusiasm for the Marque. Initially the founder, Keston Pelmore, left a card on the windscreen of every Bentley in the car park at Brooklands early in 1936 inviting the owners to attend an informal meeting at his flat in Sloane Avenue, Chelsea..

Over the years the Club has grown and is now the focus of a world-wide Federation of Bentley Clubs with a membership of some 3200.

History of the U.S.A. South (Texas) Region

The U.S.A. South (Texas) Region was established in 1979, with Don E. Weber of San Antonio, Texas, as chairman. Don owned a very special 1925 3 Litre Speed Model Vanden Plas Tourer. This Team Car, Chassis No. 1138, Registration No. MH7580, raced at LeMans in 1925 and was driven by Benjafield and Kensington-Moir. Don also owned a beautiful 1931 8 Litre Murphy bodied Coupe deVille, Chassis No. YR 5085, that he painstakingly restored after finding it in pieces in Mexico.

In 1985 Bill Chadwick of Dallas, Texas, took over as chairman. He owned a 1932 8 Litre, Chassis No. YX 5109, Registration No. GY31. Originally a sedanca, it was re-bodied as a 4-seater tourer by British coachbuilder Jim Pearce.

The current chairman, Robert McLellan of Houston, Texas, began his term in 1987. Robert owns a 1925 3 Litre Speed Model Vanden Plas Tourer, Chassis No. 869, Registration No. FY7290. Owned since 1980, this car is presently undergoing a complete "from ground-up" restoration.

In the May 1979 "BDC Review", Gibbs Pancheri, Executive Director, pointed out that this new region of the "Lone Star" state was too vast for regular meetings to be held. With as few members then as we have now, we surprised them with a couple of regional meets at Salado Inn near Austin, Texas. Weekends of driving on hilly back roads and evenings of good food and fellowship were very satisfying to the dozen or so members who attended. In the early 1980s vintage Bentleys reigned supreme and we had a fine mix of impressive cars, including Weber's team car and Ed Swearingen's blower Bentley Drop-Head Coupe which was once owned by Wooft Bernato.

In the mid-1980s Texas found itself in the grip of a recession, with plunging oil prices and highly inflated Bentley values. By the end of that decade most of the vintage Bentleys were back in England, sold to investors who anticipated a continuation of the escalating prices. Although prices have come down, the vintage Bentleys have yet to return to Texas and most Derby and Crewe Bentleys (Rolls-Royce built) have found a home with the Rolls-Royce Owners Club which has rewarded owners of these cars with activities.

Now that Bentley Motors is developing a new identity, under new ownership, with the 2003 Bentley Continental GT, the BDC sees more support for the Bentley marque. It will no longer be in the shadow of Rolls-Royce, but a unique car like the original W. O. Bentleys. We encourage all Texas Cricklewood, Derby and Crewe Bentleys to join together as the BDC South (Texas) Region. This is your club and we need your ideas and help to develop tours and meets that will make owning these cars great fun.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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