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Derby Bentley Books

Over the last 30 odd years there have been several good books devoted exclusively to the Derby Bentley. Much space with many photographs was given to Derby Bentleys in

Bentley: Fifty Years of the Marque: by Johnnie Green, published in 1969 by Dalton Watson Ltd, London (ISBN 0 901564 00 1)

That Johnnie Green is an acknowledged authority on Bentleys is shown by this seminal work on all the Bentleys to the end of the 1960's. He was owner of "Honeysuckle", a beautiful and highly regarded original Vanden Plas tourer on chassis no B154 MR, from 1951 to 1986. Much photographed and used by Mr Green as a platform to promote Derby Bentleys generally, this motor car was part of the Blackhawk Collection in California and now resides in Hong Kong.

Derby Bentleys are also covered in

All the Pre-War Bentleys - As New: by Stanley Sedgwick and Hugh Young, published in 1976 by the Bentley Drivers Club and Rolls-Royce Motors Ltd

and in

Bentley- Cricklewood to Crewe: by Michael Frostick, published in 1980 by Osprey Publishing Ltd

The next milestone work on the Derby Bentley must be

Bentley: The Silent Sports Car 1931 -1941: by Michael Ellman-Brown, published in 1989 by Dalton Watson (ISBN 0 901564 33 8)

The first major work devoted solely to the Derby Bentley and again written by an owner of several Derbys including the only Mulliner Mk V and an enthusiast of great knowledge, with the imprimatur of a foreword by Johnnie Green, this book contains much more background information, many photographs and much sensible opinion and commentary. Well produced and carefully researched with most photographs being contemporary, this book sets the standard, which has not been subsequently surpassed. Watch out for Michael's next volume, which is in preparation.

This magnificent testament to the Derby Bentley was followed not long afterwards by a work devoted to the Overdrive 4.25 Litre Cars,

Bentley: The 1938/1939 Overdrive Cars: by Mervyn Frankel and Ian Strang, published in 1994 by Academy Books, London (ISBN 1 873361 18 1)

The result of research into each of the 200 Overdrive cars, written again by the owners of B22MR and B164 MR; and B70 MR respectively, is fascinating and excellently presented. Anecdotes and histories bring alive the ownership experience. There are details of each car, some more extensive than others, framed by interesting articles either reproduced from magazines of the period or written by owners subsequently. Certain names appear frequently, such as Mr & Mrs Way who collected Overdrive cars in Wales in the 1970s and Murray Dewar of Victoria, Australia who has two stunning Vanden Plas dropheads (B42 MR and B203 MX) and a 2 door coupe (B139 MX) penned by the master designer, A F McNeill, then at James Young after moving from Gurney Nutting following James Young's acquisition by Jack Barclay in 1937.

All the above books are now out of print and can only be obtained at considerable cost from specialist booksellers.

An indispensable aid to ownership is

The Derby Bentley Technical Manual published by the Bentley Drivers Club in 1993 and currently in the process of being updated for a second edition, eagerly awaited.

Recently there has been a further book added to the list,

The Derby Built Bentleys: by Bernard L. King, published in 2000 by Complete Classics.

The information contained in the tables in this book covering, by chassis number, original information as well as references to pictures in subsequent publications and latest owner names and country, when combined with the table of Registration Number against Chassis Number allows immediate identification of any car and is an excellent resource. The photographs themselves are of variable quality and fall short of the standard in earlier publications, although many are of cars, pictures of which have not before been published. Thus, a good source of technical and photographical information. There are other articles and publications, details of which may be found through the websites of the Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Club (www.rrec.co.uk), Bentley Drivers Club (www.bdcl.co.uk) or the Rolls Royce Owners Club, and its related Derby Bentley Society (www.rroc.org or www.rroc.org.au).

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