Owls Head Transportation Museum to exhibit Bentley at Massachusetts event

Jul 22, 2014
This 1930 Bentley Speed Six owned by Museum Trustees Norm and Molly Shanklin will represent the Owls Head Transportation Museum at the Misselwood Tour d’Elegance and Concours d’Elegance on July 26 and July 27 in Beverly, Mass.

Owls Head — On Saturday, July 26 and Sunday, July 27 the Owls Head Transportation Museum will, for the second consecutive year, be represented at the Misselwood Concours d’Elegance at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass.

Following an invitation from Concours organizers, Museum Trustees Norman and Molly Shanklin, Executive Director Russ Rocknak and Ground Vehicle Conservator Warren Kincaid will journey to Beverly to represent the museum. The team will be running and exhibiting Mr. and Mrs. Shanklin’s 1930 Bentley Speed Six under the OHTM banner. In addition to participating in the Concours, the OHTM team will take the Bentley on the road for the 60 mile Tour d’Elegance.

In 2013 OHTM participated in the event running their fully-restored Stanley Model K “Semi-Racer.” Though the rare steam car had a few troubles along the tour route it caught the eye of reporters at The Boston Globe who wrote a feature on the vehicle following the showing. Additionally the Stanley was awarded first place in its class, Brass and Nickel through 1925, at the judged Misselwood Concours event.

This invitation represents the Owls Head Transportation Museum’s ongoing effort to expand the horizons of the museum through the ambassadorship opportunities available throughout the region.

“With only 171 models ever made, we are pleased to feature a 1930 Bentley Speed Six, as one of the many outstanding vehicles to attend the 2014 edition of the Misselwood Concours d’Elegance”, said Patrick Cornelissen, founder and chairman of the event. “Over the years, we have worked hard to put a top notch event together, and this 2008 Amelia Island Concours award winner is just one of the many examples that demonstrate our dedication to continuously attract unique and distinguished classics to our show”

The Bentley Speed Six  is Chassis #NH2747. It was approximately the 120th of 171 Speed Six model chassis produced from 1926 until 1930. A total of 545 Chassis were built as 6 ½ liter Bentley Motor Cars during that time period, but only a fraction were produced as the coveted 6 ½ liter Speed Six Model. By 1930, Bentley Motors had truly refined their craft.

#NH2747 was delivered new on April 25, 1930 to Capt. V.H. Holt of Ravenswick, Kirbymooreside, Yorkshire, England as a Gurney Nutting Weyman fabric bodied saloon. It is assumed that the Speed Six was brought into the United States sometime after World War II. The fabric and wooden body eventually rotted away as the car languished outdoors, relegated to a field. It was later replaced with a crude, homebuilt aluminum racer body. In the 1960s Charlie Lowe of Newington, Conn traded the owner of the Bentley, an airline pilot, his working Volkswagen Beetle for the Bentley.

#NH2747 received its first restoration in 1980 as part of a collection of W.O Bentley cars residing in Woodstock, Vt.. Renowned coachbuilder Tony Robinson of Gerrard’s Cross in Buck, England reproduced a Vanden Plas Four Passenger Touring Body from an original example in his workshop. Although restorations of the 1980s are sometimes considered to be less detailed than those of today, it was this early restoration that was responsible for the preservation and authentication of this automobile. The mere existence of this Speed Six exemplifies the significance of the work performed by the restoration pioneers of the 1960s through 1980s.

By the mid-1990s, the Bentley was again tired after many years of hard use and unfortunate neglect. The second restoration, completed in 2007, incorporated corrections to the functionality and aesthetics of the vehicle. The restoration included reworked fender angles, spare tire mounts, cockpit layout, and coloration scheme. As an example, everything except the radiator grill and windscreen frame were previously various shades of green. The refinements to make this Bentley Speed Six the pristine example it is today are due in part to the care of Steve Littin and his team of craftsmen at Vintage & Auto Rebuilds.

Often referred to as “W.O. Bentleys”, the Vintage Bentleys began in 1919 and were discontinued by 1932.

Misselwood Concours d’Elegance was founded in 2009 and inaugurated in 2010. The show is billed as a celebration of “style, excellence and elegance on Boston’s historic North Shore.” The Misselwood Concours d’Elegance brings together high-end automobiles to raise funds for scholarship programs at Endicott College and provides an opportunity for the New England automobile community to congregate and showcase their exceptional vehicles. In 2014 Misselwood will celebrate its fifth anniversary, Bentley is among the featured marques for the event.

NH2747, the Speed Six Bentley, was on loan and on display in the Owls Head Transportation Museum during the winter of 2013/ 2014 alongside the Museum’s world-class collection of pioneer era aircraft and automobiles. The Museum hopes to welcome the vehicle back following Misselwood.

Mr. Bentley himself was known to have favored the Speed Six model.

For further information please contact Owls Head Transportation Museum Public Relations Director Jenna Lookner at 594-4418.

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