During my formative years when I was cultivating my interest in four-wheeled vehicles, the Bentley Turbo R was one of the absolute top cars of the time.
I remember a 1989 cover of one of the weekly magazines with a newly quad-lamped Turbo R looking stately, yet menacing.
In the weeks leading up to my decision to buy the Turbo R, I’d done a little research and also consulted a friend active in the Northern section of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club.
Of course, the RREC also welcomes Bentley enthusiasts, and after I told him about my purchase he invited me to the group’s annual North of England Rally at Harewood House.
It would be a decent 250-mile round trip for the Bentley, which had only driven much shorter journeys at that point, as well as finding out what goes on during such events and comparing notes with other owners.
The trip up the A1 was a good opportunity to discover the ‘menace’ hinted at all those years ago was hidden beneath a thin façade of stateliness.
Pushing harder on the accelerator pedal while on the move results in a brisk rise in speed, and rarely as a result of the three-speed automatic gearbox kicking down.
A few seconds later and with no increase in noise an extra 30mph has been added to the speedometer reading and scenery is a blur.
Arrival at Harewood House for all RREC attendees called for a picture of each car in this grand setting, and despite a forecast of showers, it didn’t seem to affect numbers.
Easily a couple of hundred Rolls-Royces and Bentleys spanning the whole of the 20th century, some in concours condition, others showing signs of regular use.
A biblical, picnic-ruining afternoon downpour sent everyone scurrying for cover, and was so hard it refilled abandoned champagne glasses to the brim, although after 30 minutes the sun shone in time for prize-giving.
On the dry journey back down the A1 I began to think of some of the exceptional looking vehicles at the event and ponder what I could do to mine by way of subtle enhancements. A Max Power Bentley? Surely not . . .