FavoReview: Gelderland with the Bentley Speed Six Special

FavoRoads have met a gentleman a few weeks back and got the opportunity to also drive one. This FavoReview is about the experience driving a very rare car in the province of Gelderland.

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After a few very successful years in motorsport “Napier & Son” negotiated with Bentley to buy the company in 1931. A competitor named “British Central Equitable Trust (BCET)” offered a counter-proposal and outbid Napier in a sealed bid auction. The BCET won the auction and after loads of media attention and investigations the BCET turned out to be a front for Rolls Royce Limited. Not even Bentley himself knew the true identity of the purchaser until the deal was already done… By then it was too late. Rolls Royce closed the Bentley-factory in Cricklewood and production was stopped for two years…

From 1933 to 1936 Rolls Royce started producing Bentley’s again with the 3 ½ Litre. Basically a sporting variant of the Rolls-Royce 20/25. The car had so many parts from Rolls Royce that a lot of customers bought the cheaper Bentley’s instead. This way Rolls Royce got exactly what they wanted; the Rolls Royce brand staying super-exclusive and at the same time profiting from the Bentley brand by making more cars. This way of “parts sharing production” stayed the same until Bentley was purchased by the VW Group in 2004.

FavoRoads had the opportunity to drive such a unique machine! Interesting to know is that this car originally is a 1934 Bentley model with the 3 ½ Litre engine. But in its early days this specific car was used for racing and was therefore fitted with the bigger and more powerful 4 ¼ Litre engine from its younger brother.

Imagine yourself driving this in the ‘30s… That has to be one of the best experiences of a lifetime! The car is huge and it’s very hard to imagine someone actually racing this. The only problem you can have is hoping you’re not too spoiled with all the modern technologies. After all you want to appreciate such a piece of car-history.

The owner has rebuilt this car entirely from the ground up. He put very much effort and time in making this car as perfect as it originally was. Taking every small detail into account! This car still is used very often. They just came back from a 1.600 km / 1.000 mile trip through the Alps. “It didn’t break down and was an absolute joy to drive”, the owner predicates.

The review starts in a small village called Elst in The Netherlands. From there a rather boring national road takes you towards the village of Ochten. This is a beautiful small town and located directly next to the river Waal. If you are there, its recommended to use one of the oldest roads to Lent. This road is amazing! It’s perfect if you like to find out how such a Bentley would have felt back in the day. You have to work pretty hard. Not only the steering is though, but keeping this car going really gives you a workout.

This ‘5-star’ stretch of road stops in the vicinity of Bemmel. From there follow the road which leads you to the very small village of Hemmen. This village dates back to the 1800’s and driving this Bentley here seems as if you really got back in time. When driving past the magnificent park (which originally was the garden of a castle that once stood there) in such a machine you get lots of thumps up and smiling people. A very welcoming and warm feeling.

Where-ever you go from Hemmen, all roads are pretty. The countryside with its wide and open views and lots of nature is astonishing! Recommended is to take the ferry across “the Rhine” and stop for some rest. The Bentley Speed Six Special gives you a completely different variation of thrills then, let’s say, the modern paddle-shifter-and-ceramic-brakes car. Amazing if you think about it actually, because it’s also just a car, but the details you notice and stand out are completely different to a modern car. For example; it’s not about changing gear as quickly as you can. No, it’s about changing gear at all. Everytime it feels like an accomplishment if you get it done! It’s so pure!

While taking a cool drink an elderly woman comes running to her car. She takes her Ipad out and tries to take a few pictures of the car. “My husband would never believe I’ve just seen an old Bentley”, she says, “He loves Bentley’s and so do I.” For the best ‘proof’ it’s important to be on the photo yourself, so she climbs in for a small shoot by Brent.

When you arrive at the other side of the water, turn left. Head for a piece of road recommended by FavoRoads-user Peter Janssen. His road covers the last few km’s/miles and takes you through a pretty stretch of forest. It leads back to the starting point. Time to take the Bentley home and store it in its amazing garage. Off course gracefully thanking the owner for giving us this eye-opening experience. We covenant with the owner that he takes good care of the car and using it where it’s made for!

Notes:
If you like to have your favoreview- story or experience here, than send it to us! tips@favoroads.com. Thank you!

Special Thanks to:
The owner!
Photography by Brent Semmelink

FavoReview by Kaj & Brent

Route:
Will be here soon!