The battle-scarred Speed 8s that finished first and second at Le Mans will make demonstration runs at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Le Mans winner Guy Smith will be in the victorious number 7 car with David Brabham driving the runner-up number 8 Bentley.
Neither car has been cleaned for Goodwood and they will appear exactly as they were the minute they crossed the line at Le Mans complete with a coating of dead flies and grime.
The winning Bentley Speed 8 (driven in the race by Bentley Boys Tom Kristensen, Dindo Capello and Guy Smith – the second placed team comprising British F1 stars Johnny Herbert, Mark Blundell and David Brabham), has been trawled around already as part of a major PR offensive - the day after the race France was treated to the spectacle of the winning Bentley being driven down the Champs Elysees!
Bentley’s two original vintage Blower Bentleys, one being driven by Chairman and Chief Executive, Franz-Josef Paefgen, followed in convoy carrying the triumphant six Bentley Boys.
The number 7 car was then transported to London to be guest of honour at a victory dinner at the Savoy – simply getting it into the hotel took three hours, the complete removal of the Savoy’s famous revolving doors and the construction of a special tool to tip the car through 45 degrees to get it into the ballroom. When the original Bentley Boys celebrated their second win in similar style in 1927, their 3 litre Bentley was also guest of honour, but cars were easier to disassemble in those days and the removal of the wheels and axles enabled the car to take its seat without the hotel doors being removed.
Those looking to see the new 198mph Continental GT put through its paces for the first time in the UK will also enjoy the sight and sound of the 550bhp coupe rocketing up the hill. With a 0-60mph time of 4.7sec, permanent four-wheel drive, a twin-turbo, 6-litre W12 engine delivering almost as much power as the racing car and with Derek Bell at the wheel it should be a popular sight.