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Is this 'special' up to the Bentley standard?


Is this special up to the Bentley standard?
Specials: the beginning of endless discussions in the classic car world. Some time ago, we had such a discussion with JP from Victorycars and he told us about a Bentley special that he had on his stock list. To be honest, we were not immediately convinced, so he invited us over to take the special for a spin and experience the car first-hand.  
 
The basis of the car is a 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith chassis with a Bentley Sedanca de Ville body on it. However, the most special part is its engine. A real piece of craftsmanship.
First, some information about the man who built it: Gary Wales. He is well known for his specials such as La Bestioni. It took Wales 10 years to build this Bentley 'Royal Custom', which can be seen in the details. 
For the engine, he used 2 Rolls engines, 5.75 l 8-in-line, with crankshafts geared together on a common crankcase – the same design that Ettore Bugatti used for the U-16 aircraft engine. When we started the engine, you can hear the gears. It sounds a bit mechanical as a result of the common crankcase gears. 
 
At the beginning of our ride, the car didn’t have the power that I had expected; yet, after just a couple of minutes, I could feel the engine getting cleaner and the drive getting better and better by minute. 
The amount of power that the car has is perfect for serious touring. We were lucky; the sun started to shine, so we opened the roof (made out of the hide of an elephant) and we went for cruise.    
 
The interior is what you can expect from a Bentley: extremely comfortable. The dashboard, however, is a bit filled. Because there are two engines, there are also double the amount of instruments.
 
Our conclusion is that JP successfully convinced us about the quality of this car. What an amazing vehicle!  It is indeed a special built by a hobbyist, made out of different parts of cars, but it looks as if it were an original factory built car – a car that they could have been made at the Bentley factory. 
 
We were so enthusiastic about this car that we invited this Bentley ‘Royal Coupe’ special to be present at our PreWarCar.com- PostWarClassic.com stand during the 2017 Interclassics Maastricht. 
 
The classic car show Interclassics will take place next week (January 12th – 15th, 2017) in the South of the Netherlands. If you are interested to see the car for yourself, please come visit us in the North Hall. You won’t be able to miss this big beautiful red car!
     

Comments 

 
#17 2017-01-06 17:37
Whilst I am a keen promoter of preservation of original vehicles I don't have a problem with this one provided it was not made up at the expense of complete original vehicles. An owner is entitled to do what he wants with his property although the thing is a pretty tasteless assemblage of parts. My only real issue is that these confections are attractive to ignorant casual viewers and may convey a wrong impression of how old Bentley's are.....
 
 
#16 2017-01-06 15:26
All comments made me smile but one detail wasn't mentioned and that is to change the spokes in the wheels for coloured ones because those shinny ones are ugly. Years ago I saw a german with a Amilcar CGSs who had the same chromed spokes in the wheels and it looked OFF, here it is the same story.
Best wishes for 2017 for you all :-)
 
 
#15 2017-01-06 03:30
Hi all, some great opinions! I think if the photos of the wrecks that Mr. Wales used were shown, and even some of his first "jobs", more of us would come along. Please do some research on his work, especially his early stuff. If nothing else, it is fun.....cheers all! Keith
 
 
#14 2017-01-06 01:37
I look at it and think to myself it is a confection with too much going on. The 'best' pulled from everywhere to make a pastiche and become less than the sum of its parts. I cannot help thinking there are much more worth while projects which would benefit from the undoubted high level of skill and resources poured into this project. Can someone educate me as to what type of event would this car be welcomed at?
 
 
#13 2017-01-05 23:55
Well, let's face it - brilliant engineers rarely excel when it comes to styling.

Almost everything on this car looks wrong - just study the front wing section with these weird looking "art deco" position lights, modern aftermarket mirrors and a chrome trim like on old Mercs from the 1970s and 1980s.

But this is topped still by another feature, the blue retainer nuts in the engine bay!

That said I am pretty sure this waste of original parts and lots of hours will find a happy new owner with bad taste - like the Excaliburs once did...
 
 
#12 David 2017-01-05 23:17
Really poor proportions. It's a no from me.
 
 
#11 2017-01-05 22:08
The craftsmanship may be superb, but,regrettably , in my humble opinion the effort involved has been wasted on something that reminds me of those tasteless glass fibre imitation classics built to take brides to weddings. Still, a chacun son gout.
 
 
#10 2017-01-05 21:51
Part of the joy of owning a vintage car is owning a piece of history. The creator is clearly very skilled, but it is a creation rather than a replication or restoration.
A few years ago I showed up at the Scottish BDC Whit Weekend with a Vauxhall 30/98 and was almost sent packing! I fear anyone showing up with this would certainly be sent home accompanied by the deep rumble of WO and Ernest Hives spinning in their graves!
 
 
#9 2017-01-05 20:26
This is an interesting and well engineered special at the top level. If made from surplus parts and a wreck then all the better. My problem is with the looks of it. I find those who have a strong technical focus are usually devoid in other areas. The styling should have been left to someone who is a student of that aspect
 
 
#8 David Barker 2017-01-05 17:55
Wonderful workmanship, totally wasted making something outrageous and useless, sorry Graham, I agree nmore with.............." Funnily though, it seems more in tune with what Bentley makes today for their new tasteless customers..."
than with you old friend!
 

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