The Bentley Boys
Their spirit lives on
"The public liked to imagine them living in expensive Mayfair flats with several mistresses and, of course, several very fast Bentleys, drinking champagne at nightclubs, playing the horses and the stock exchange, and beating furiously round racing tracks at weekends. Of at least several of them, this was not such an inaccurate picture."
Along with the Bentley Girls, the Bentley Boys showcase an elite group of drivers which have helped to take Bentley's cars to ever greater heights over the past 100 extraordinary years of Bentley. Get to know the Bentley Boys past and present here at Grange.
The Original Bentley Boys
Back in the 1920s and 1930s, the first generation of Bentley Boys consisted of a close-knit group of adventurers, playboys and racers who were always prepared for a race, a thrilling challenge or a glass of champagne. Their lifestyles and skills behind the wheel granted fame around the world, inspiring a whole generation of Bentley drivers and fans alike.
Leading the Original Bentley Boys was Woolf ‘Babe' Barnato, who attracted plenty of attention in 1930 when he beat a Blue Train after pitting it against his Bentley car in a race from Cannes to Calais - the victory was made even more sweeter by the fact Barnato managed get back to his club in London before the Blue Train arrived at Calais station.
Other members of the Original Bentley Boys included the Hon. Sir HRS ‘Tim' Birkin, a former fighter pilot who set a phenomenal record of 137.96mph at Brooklands, Le Mans 1930 winner ‘born adventurer' Glen Kidston, Le Mans 1927 winner and British Racing Drivers' Club founder Dr J.D. ‘Benjy' Benjafield, Le Mans 1927 winner and racing journalist SCH ‘Sammy' Davis, and Le Mans 1924 winner John Duff - the first Bentley driver to be victorious at the challenging 24-hour race.
The New Bentley Boys
The turn of the millennium has witnessed the New Bentley Boys come to the fore; a group of individuals boasting many unique and astonishing talents.
Today's Bentley Boys includes four-time World Rally champion Juha Kankkunen, who managed to hit 199.83mph when travelling on 70cm-thick ice aboard a Bentley Continental GT, and the trio of Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Guy Smith - who in 2003 collectively won the Le Mans 24 Hour race for Bentley.
Also in the team is five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell MBE, current World Land Speed Record holder Andy Green, and actor Idris Elba - who set the ‘Flying Mile' UK land speed record driving a Bentley Continental GT Speed car in May 2015.