Bentley Drivers Club

Bentley Drivers Club

Author
Discussion

LordOfTheManor

805 posts

67 months

Sunday 27th May 2018
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Perhaps lower membership fees ?

High flier

1,081 posts

133 months

Tuesday 29th May 2018
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I'm 31 and have just purchased my first Bentley, a Flying Spur (due to having a daughter now, I needed the 4 doors!).
I've owned an F355 for 3 years, and have been (no longer due to selling it) a member of the Ferrari Owners Club. That's priced a bit higher than BOC but they have events which suit the younger audience. When I looked at the events on the BOC I just decided that it wasn't worth me joining.
Personally I prefer the events which the FOC run, they appealed to me more (namely racing events, track days etc) so I felt that the rather steep membership fee was justified, although I didn't have time to attend many events!
They're obviously very different brands, but what FOC do very much appeals more to me than BOC, the picture above kind of sums up my image of the Bentley meets.
Also the calendar on the website isn't very user friendly. It'd be better to be able to view it in list form (FOC do this) as I can easily see what's on when, rather than clicking on each individual date.

BruceV8

3,325 posts

203 months

Sunday 26th August 2018
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After decades of hankering, I finally bought a Turbo R in January. Its been an absolute pleasure, though not without its costs but I always knew that goes with the territory. I absolutely love WOs but would need a Euromillions win to even consider one.

I think I'd like to join the BDC but a part of me wonders - I have a shaven head and a cockney accent and a car at he bottom of its depreciation curve How would that go down with the straw boated WO owners?

I know I probably shouldn't worry. I love the Brooklands museum. At one of their events I had a chat with a stripey blazered owner of a Silver Cloud (one of my all time favourite cars) and he and his wife were lovely. More recently I had a very pleasant conversation with the owner of a 1939 4 1/2 litre tourer (if I remember correctly) and he too was charming and a genuine enthusiast.

Basically, I'm trying not to be an inverted snob!

WightGT

Original Poster:

149 posts

102 months

Wednesday 29th August 2018
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Hi BruceV8 - Turbo Rs are highly regarded within the BDC and look set to appreciate in value. Your profile doesn't sound off-putting - we have plenty of eccentric baldies in our membership, and even the ones from Wales and Scotland are tolerated and indulged!. There are two BDC regions for the South East - essentially one for north of the Thames and one for the south. Both have many events throughout the year like November 4th for the London to Brighton run, where you can have lunch and watch the procession.

If you don't join, you'll never know what you are missing! BDC web site gives details of all events, but is not highly regarded and is due a re-vamp.
Best wishes,
David.

crashley

1,512 posts

136 months

Wednesday 29th August 2018
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There are a few issues that could be addressed:

1. Website/membership looks a little chicken and egg to me; could you update the site to allow some sort of limited access for non-members to actually see what they are missing? Having had a brief glance it seems you need to sign up (and therefore cough up?) to access details.

2. Rightly or wrongly, i think the club still has the perception from the outside of being a little 'stuffy'. It's unfortunately not helped by some members having a higher sense of self worth, and ultimately looking down their noses at the outside world. I appreciate it is a small minority, but as ever, it's that minority which are noted.

3. Events, not really through fault of their own, are often aimed at couples - and there's a real reluctance to go as a solo artist.

I am aware there's a huge effort which is put into this club, and for many it really is a huge enjoyment - so it's wonderful to see active steps are being taken to attract a younger, dare i say it, dynamic membership.

Canfield

37 posts

200 months

Saturday 8th September 2018
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Sorry to go slightly off topic but I probably have the right audience in this thread.

Does anybody happen to have any recommendations for a Bentley specialist in the Reading/Newbury area?

I have just bought a ‘68 MPW coupe which needs a bit of TLC. I have found Stewart Walker in Thatcham from a google search - does anybody have experience of them or others?

To the OP, just had a look at the website and it looks interesting - I will probably join up. Looks like I have to download and send paper forms though - that might put some people off.

Many thanks

Canfield

37 posts

200 months

Saturday 8th September 2018
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Apologies, just saw you can apply online too and have done so.

WightGT

Original Poster:

149 posts

102 months

Monday 10th September 2018
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I think you will be OK with Stewart Walker, although I have no experience of them. You will also find Phantom Motors at Crondall (Farnham) know their stuff. Congratulations on acquiring a Bentley - I hope you will find BDC membership pleasurable.

I think you will come within the Mid West Region of the BDC, of which I am the local Chairman. We have lunches planned for 17th October at the Balmer Lawn hotel in Brockenhurst, and at the Bell House hotel at Sutton Benger on 15th November. Our Christmas Lunch is at the Essebourne Manor hotel at Hurstbourne Tarrant on 2nd December. Further ahead, we have a 10 day tour of Champagne in mid-May 2019 to celebrate the 100th Birthday of Bentley Motors.

Best wishes,
David.

mmarksx19

34 posts

57 months

Monday 10th September 2018
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Having just bought my 1st Bentley (2009 Continental Flying Spur Speed) I would be interested to understand exactly what the benefits of the club are. Is there a healthy technical section for these vehicles? I am based in Leeds, how often are the meet-ups and what sort of folk attend?

The cars are at a low enough price now that they are no longer 'exclusive' but it is a lot of money to pay to join the club if there are no real advantages to myself. It's difficult from the website to gauge the value without joining first! For example, the forum cannot be viewed even once without being a member. I don't know of there are 100 posts per day all of relevance and experts at hand to give advice or if there is 1 post every 6 months.

Just my 2 pence worth.

Michael

Canfield

37 posts

200 months

Tuesday 11th September 2018
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Thanks David, look forward to joining you at an event once I get the car roadworthy!

WightGT

Original Poster:

149 posts

102 months

Thursday 13th September 2018
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Hello mmarksx19
The North East BDC region is one of our smaller groups, with only about 180 members. It has regular Noggin 'n Natters at venues dotted around the region. As a small region, it is not as active socially as some of the larger regions. As to the BDC chat room - I seldom use it, preferring Pistonheads which reaches a wider audience. Technical advice on the modern generation of Bentleys is probably easier to find via Pistonheads.
On the wider BDC front, there is plenty to get involved in. Next year we want 1000 Bentleys at Blenheim Palace for our annual Concours. There is an active racing programme, There's a weekend in Portmeirion coming up in early October and next year you can take a 26 night tour of South Australia and Tasmania if you want a £10,000 holiday.
Best wishes
David.

Gene G

116 posts

54 months

Saturday 10th November 2018
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Shortly after purchasing our Bentley Continental GT Speed I met some members of the RROC and joined. The local members have become good friends. The RROC is the most down to earth car club I belong to. They are quite active and fun. Mostly an older group but some real gear head hands on owners that do their own maintenance. Some have even done full restorations of older Bentleys and Rolls. I have several cars so the Bentley is a special occasion car. There doesn’t seem to be an active Bentley Drivers Club here in North East Florida. There isn’t a Aston Martin club here either. I guess there aren’t many Bentley, Rolls Royce or Aston Martin cars around here. The closest dealer is over a hundred miles away. Several members of the local RROC also have Bentleys, Aston Martins, and Mercedes so we all enjoy several different manufacturers.

Edited by Gene G on Saturday 10th November 02:33

The Motorist

105 posts

101 months

Saturday 10th November 2018
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Bentley’s are generally regarded as an older person’s car. The age of person you want is more likely to buy a Porsche. A 911 has more appeal and a more clubby appeal than a GT.
On route to Classic Le Mans this year I saw convoys of Porsches of varying ages being driven by people of all ages. But that doesn’t happen with Midern Bentleys. Also modern Bentley owners often don’t take any interest in the heritage of Bentley.
The snobbery of W.O. owners is perceived, but largely not true. Ask about their cars, ask about gearchanging and show interest and you’ll find that the snobbery concept is not as real as you think. But it is inescapable that Bentley owners are older, the marque does not have sporty overtones and has little club appeal.The club now is quite the opposite of where it was 50 years ago.

MULLINER

90 posts

149 months

Friday 16th November 2018
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I am a member for over 27 years of the BDC and other car clubs too. I get the old image of old men, old cars, and if it is not vintage / WO you are not welcome which was certainly the case when I joined. However a lot has changed in recent years in both the BDC and North West which is the region I am in.
This year the North West region has arranged 32 events from our monthly meetings with an average attendance of about 50 members. Yet on some occasions we have had about 100, which is not bad for a relaxed Tuesday evening get together!
The other events have included touring the Scottish boarders. Hosting a party on the Royal Yacht, Driving through France and the Monaco Historic Grand Prix with BDC members from over 14 countries attending. We have toured Derbyshire and the peak district. North Wales and last month 3 day tour of Snowdonia. We have enjoyed events at Bentley Motors including celebrating the 15th anniversary of the GT. The annual WO Bentley Birthday celebration with WO’s Grandson, Bentley factory tours. Last weekend we had over 600 people at an event at Bentley Motors. There have been visits to some invitation only private collections etc etc.
Then there are the national events and the events arranged by the other regions too both in the UK and overseas.
Next year there are a number of tours for the centenary of Bentley and there will be 1000 Bentleys at Salon Prive, Le Mans and over 30 events in just the NW planned so far!
If you attended every NW regional event event in 2018 you would have Driven nearly 4500 miles and helped contribute to the £500k the NW has donated to charity in recent years.
The Bentleys that regularly attend are from new Bentagya, Gt and Mulsanne to vintage / WO with most models of all ages and owners of all ages too! You may be surprised to know we have a large number of young lady Bentley owners who are in some cases more enthusiastic drivers than the men ! In the North West we have as many members in their 40s with WOs as the older generation so it is nit just old man and old cars.

The BDC is very much a car club that if you want to drive your cars with your mates there should be events that will interest you. If you want to eat or sit looking at polished Bentleys there are some events that are for that. But as with all car clubs and hobby clubs in general its is only as good as the members and what they contribute. So yes we do have a few lunches and dinners but driving there is half the fun.

WightGT

Original Poster:

149 posts

102 months

Friday 16th November 2018
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Well said Alex! Here on the South Coast we are planning a Centenary Champagne tour to Epernay next May and a host of other events that involve some combination of eating, drinking and sober driving for 2019 and 2020.
See you Sunday,
David.

cardigankid

8,292 posts

168 months

Friday 30th November 2018
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By a strange chance I am sitting with an application form for the BDC.

It’s basically £50 to join and £100 per year.

On balance I am up for it, though I can understand that it is getting to a cost where most people are going to think carefully about whether they are going to get value out of it.

I am also a member of the RREC, which is cheaper. If there was a discounted rate to be members of both I think a few people would take that up. The BDC is promoted I think as a club which is about driving and competition (hence, they say, Bentley Driver’s Club, as opposed to Owner’s Club, or Enthusiasts Club). Therefore there is this feeling that it is primarily about maintaining and competing in W.O. Bentleys. The only guy I know in the BDC has a 1924 3 Litre Speed model, which tends to reinforce that. Having said that I happened to be at a BDC Meeting at Dumfries House in 2016 I think when there were, along with some stunning concours cars (R Type Continental, Derby’s, Azure’s and Continental T’s) a hell of a lot of W.O. Bentleys, some immaculate and a lot of ‘bitsa’ type cars with enthusiastic owners talking about what the problems were and how they were resolving them. I had a great time talking to these people and only wished I could afford to buy a W.O. They were not old, or snobby or standoffish in any way.

Maybe it would be a good thing if you could buy the components at an affordable price and build yourself a W.O. design, in no way pretending to be a W.O. chassis from the 1920’s, and that would attract more of those kinds of people. That is to take nothing away from owners of original cars (for which I am happy to accept the decision of the DVLA as recorded on the V5) and the serious sums which their cars are rightly worth on the market. It would just get more cars of that design out there on the roads and the track in the hands of enthusiasts.

Most of the Bentleys subsequently produced, marvellous cars that they are, are not designed for, or owned by people who wish to take part in, competition. I think that the BDC need to encourage that, much larger, section of the Bentley owning community and make it obvious.

Alternatively, link up with the RREC, who are already focussed on that sector of the market.

SpeckledJim

22,177 posts

209 months

Saturday 1st December 2018
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As with the National Trust and National Trust for Scotland, why not harmonise your pricing, and extend reciprocal privileges to each others’ members?

cardigankid

8,292 posts

168 months

Saturday 1st December 2018
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The more I look at the information I have (BDC sends out a very comprehensive information pack) the better the club looks.

Could it be done better? I’m not sure.

Like anything you need to put a bit of commitment in to get the best out.

I realise that you can effectively build a W.O. with a company like Peterson ( though it’s not going to be cheap) or get a similar experience with a Mark VI Special.

I think having joint meetings with other clubs, which they do, is a great way of having bigger and more interesting events.

wilwak

747 posts

126 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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I’ve joined. A couple of nice insteresting magazines on a regular basis. A nice car sticker too.

Great summer event. Nice enhancement to the experience of owning a Bentley.





Edited by wilwak on Wednesday 19th December 23:05

BruceV8

3,325 posts

203 months

Saturday 14th March
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I've been suffering from an ever growing itch to give my Turbo R an older stablemate - I have a Mk VI or an R-Type in mind and plans are being hatched. I thought it would be a good idea to talk to some owners and wondered where I might find such a beast. The BDC! And after re-reading this thread I have taken the plunge and handed over £165 of my hard-earned. I'll let you know how it goes.

Now, where are my red trousers?