Bentley’s first Le Mans racer on display at London show

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Having top up at Le Mans increased fuel consumption | William Medcalf Vintage Bentley photos
Having top up at Le Mans increased fuel consumption | William Medcalf Vintage Bentley photos

The first Bentley to race at Le Mans will be displayed at the London Classic Car show February 18-21 before returning to the French racing circuit this summer to take part in the Le Mans Classic race competition.

William Medcalf Vintage Bentley restored the car, MH 7580, in 2001, brokered the car’s sale to its current owner and has been its caretaker in various race and rally events, including a 24-hour event in 2013.Number 10 Bentley 4

The car will be driven inside the ExCeL exhibition center as part of the London classic show by Georgina Riley, one of the Bentley Belles, a team of four women who race Bentleys in classic events such as the Mille Miglia and the Le Mans Classic.

After the 1925 round-the-clock race, the 3.0-liter Bentley was used as a factory demonstrator model. The car retains its original four-seat Vanden Plas bodywork, but for racing was fitted with a lowered windshield, stiffened suspension and a 25-gallon fuel tank. Even with that tank, the car ran out of fuel early in the Le Mans race, which at the time required cars to race the first 20 laps with their tops up.

A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.