group of Bentley car enthusiasts picked the wrong week to
arrive in Dunedin.
After a month of sunshine, the convoy of open-top tourers was
greeted with a deluge of rain within hours of arriving in
Dunedin on Sunday night. The Bentley Drivers Club 2013 tour
has brought 22 vehicles to New Zealand from as far afield as
Britain, Hong Kong and Switzerland for the two-month rally.
''They're a lot of fun to drive,'' tour organiser George
Nimmo, of Christchurch, said.
''They were a very well-made sports car and have maintained
that attention for a long time.
''They're still a very capable motor car. They can easily
maintain modern road speeds.''
The vehicles were constructed between 1920 and 1930 and boast
engines ranging from 3 to 8 litres.
''These were all made during the W.O. Bentley period.
''He went broke in 1931 and the manufacture was taken over by
Roy Partridge, of Wiltshire, England, spent nearly 40 years
restoring his 1924 straight six, 3.0-litre Bentley.
''I started restoring it in 1963 and finished it in 2001,''
''It's our pride and joy.''
The convoy leaves Dunedin for Mt Cook today and then will
motor to Picton and the North Island leg of the tour.
The cars will be special guests at the Napier Art Deco
Festival, before the rally ends in Auckland on March 1.