Car with class makes rare outing for show

Mike Kendall's 1938 Bentley Derby.
Mike Kendall's 1938 Bentley Derby.
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When Mike Kendall headed into a museum in Germany he did not expect to walk out with a car.

The chartered engineer, who collects tractors from the First and Second World Wars, was in the country to meet like-minded enthusiasts.

But after learning the 1938 4 ¼ Litre Bentley Derby sports saloon was on the market he could not resist the dazzling motor car.

The vintage model by Park Ward included Lavinia Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of Norfolk, who died in 1995, among its owners.

Mr Kendall, who lives near Howden, East Yorkshire, said: “It looked like it had just been driven out of the factory. It ticked all the boxes for me: it has the history, it has the road speed, it’s got a lid on the top and it’s a good marque.”

After being recommissioned for the road, the car was brought back to the UK in April and is due to make only its second public appearance in England in more than 50 years at the Yorkshire Post Motor Show and Classic Car Rally at Castle Howard on Father’s Day.

The car had been kept in various museums in Scotland from 1970 until it was sold to a German museum in 2007.

Mr Kendall, 64, said: “I think it was in Scotland since the late 1950s. It will have always been chauffeur driven - it has got to have been judging by the condition.”

The car was ordered for Her Grace the Duchess of Norfolk, born Lavinia Mary Strutt, shortly after her wedding and was in her possession for four years.

“From the records I know that she chose the interior leather and the beige pockets in the door,” said Mr Kendall. “She also chose a blind on the back window. In those days all you bought was a chassis, engine and wheels and then it went off to a coach builder. The Duchess ordered it from Rippon Brothers, of Huddersfield, who ordered it from Bentley. Then it went off to Park Ward to be coach built.

“It’s just like a normal car to drive except it has no power steering. It’s pretty fast but has old- fashioned brakes.”

Hundreds of classic cars and vintage vehicles will converge at Castle Howard on Sunday.

Visitors can also enjoy a packed programme of entertainment with a World War Two Spitfire topping the bill.

Tickets for The Yorkshire Post Motor Show and Classic Car Rally can be bought by visiting www.castlehoward.co.uk/motorshow.