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Old 19th March 2011, 22:09   #31
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Default Bhavnagar Bentley 41/2 Litre NX 3452 ????

Clare:

Great photo of the 4 1/2 Litre (Abasy). Comparing this with a picture of the Bhavnagar 4 1/2 Litre Chassis NX 3452 (courtesy vintagebentleys.org), I am wondering if these are indeed the same car.

The inside / outside sweep of the front wings, rear door and general body lines look very similar. Cheers

W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)-bhavnagar-bentley-4half-nx3452.jpg

W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)-bhavnagar-bentley-4half-nx3452-maybe.jpg
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Old 20th March 2011, 17:06   #32
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Default Re: W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
Those are lovely pictures. The registrations appear to be 'BOM 5555' and 'BOM Z 8127'. In the 1930s and prior to that Bombay cars must have been re-registered at least 2 or 3 times depending on how old the car was. Possibly BOM predated BOM Z. After that there were single digit series like X 1234, W 1234 etc.
Indeed BOM preceeded BOM Z. We really do not know the car registration system which was in place at that time, whether any systems were overlapping, and whether vehicles got a new number with change in ownership. The evidence I have from my old photos is contradictory, a car having a 'Z' 1234 registration in 1930, another 1932 model having a BOM Z registration. So you have to look at the pictures to figure out whether they are the same, registration numbers give no firm clue at the moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
CPF 7964 (also seen with an MRH regn?) currently bears registration MP 09 W 7582. CPF would be erstwhile Central Provinces, which later became Madhya Pradesh and all registrations had to comply with the new series in the 1990s? or so. '34020' should be an old Calcutta/Bengal registration. The last car with the sloping radiator is also rumoured to have been raced in Calcutta, a more recent picture (1980s/ 90s?) appears in Gautam Sen's book on the Maharaja's and their Magnificent Motorcars.
The 'Indore' Bentley, to give it a name, has travelled all over India, has been really used and abused in its lifetime. I like to sum up its life as follows, fully open to correction and amendments. Remember, today the radiator shell and body are not factory original. That itself gives clues.

I believe that this Bentley started life in Calcutta, belonged to a Briton, has participated in the Delhi statesman rally in the 1960's where a Briton was listed as the owner. This car appears to have definitely been raced, where the radiator and body were messed up. I have a name and pictures, will take me a while to pull them out. The car came to Bangalore, I again have a name and picture, will put up in April when I am back. From Bangalore she came to Bombay. At a rally, in my presence, someone spoke to the then owner, asking him about the year of manufacture. This was in the 1970's and apparently even at that time owners tended to age their car. The owner explained to the person that the car was built in December, and so he had put the earlier year. My memory seems to remember that in discussion were the years 1928 and 1929, but I am not sure.
Anyway, soon after the car was sold to Indore, and there they do have a habit of re-registering cars and lose their history.
In the second picture of post 28, the radiator seems to have been crudely fashioned, this same radiator appears in a picture in Gautam Sen's book. This was later modified. Unfortunately the Bangalore picture I have shows the side and rear.

What also appears to be the case is that there may have been no W.O.Bentley delership in India, cars were imported by owners. Was that really so? And why?

Now to get the name and old picture.

Cheers harit

Last edited by harit : 20th March 2011 at 17:08.
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Old 29th March 2011, 19:40   #33
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Default Re: W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)

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Originally Posted by harit View Post
Someone has to take this picture and go to Kala Ghoda, and check the Sasoon Library and Army & Navy Building. I feel that the picture was taken there. Maybe I will do so after 1st April. Cheers harit
Well, I did not have to go to Kala Ghoda to check, I just got another old picture which clearly show the Sasoon Library and Army & Navy Building arches. Unfortunately these do not match, arches are distinctively different. Compare for yourself. So, where was this Bentley picture taken?

BTW, that horse mounted statue of King George (Kala Ghoda-Black Horse) has been relocated to the Zoo and that double decker thingy is a tram.

Cheers harit
Attached Thumbnails
W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)-3_bombay_1.jpg  

W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)-op-scene-17-.jpg  


Last edited by harit : 29th March 2011 at 19:43.
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Old 14th April 2011, 00:00   #34
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Default Re: W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)

How many Bentleys did the Holkars have?

Last edited by Vintage1 : 14th April 2011 at 00:10.
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Old 14th April 2011, 09:10   #35
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Default Re: W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)

[
Near Thomas cook , next to vasani tailors



QUOTE=harit;2296286]Well, I did not have to go to Kala Ghoda to check, I just got another old picture which clearly show the Sasoon Library and Army & Navy Building arches. Unfortunately these do not match, arches are distinctively different. Compare for yourself. So, where was this Bentley picture taken?

BTW, that horse mounted statue of King George (Kala Ghoda-Black Horse) has been relocated to the Zoo and that double decker thingy is a tram.

Cheers harit[/quote]
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Old 23rd April 2011, 20:43   #36
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Default Re: W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)

Dear Clare:

My name is Thomas John Frederick Becker. I go by John. I am the eldest son of Frederick George Lucas Becker who purchased LR2778 (DUU 618) from the Maharajah of Jaipur, I believe in 1937 at the tail end of the Depression, though it may actually have been purchased by the family firm, Becker & Co. Limited founded by my grandfather Sir Frederick Becker, and of which my father George was the Managing Director after the death of Sir Frederick. I don't have dependable information of the price that was paid at that time, though I believe it was somewhat less than 200 pounds.

I vividly remember the day my father brought it to our home for the first time. At that time our family transportation was a rather rickety Vauxhall, so I was hugely impressed by the splendor of the Bentley.

I can say very affirmatively in answer to the question of its original color that the roof, trunk, hood and mudguards were all black, while the sides were a very pleasing shade of what I would call "Apple Green". I am trying to find within our family records any color photos of the car while we owned it. If I can't find any, I can at least submit a color chip from Sherwin Williams that I believe comes fairly close to what I remember. I should note that I am by trade a professional portrait painter (see my website: Portrait Painter | Oil Painting at Portraitpainter.org), and I have a very good eye for color matching. But when we first met the car in 1937 it was black and green. No blue at all. The seats were covered in reddish brown leather. The last time I saw the car and got to drive it was when it was owned by Ian Findlay, and I was visiting from the States, and Ian invited me and Simon down to see it and "take it for a spin". Of course by then it had been painted with red sides and everything else black.

I can send you a photo with me and Simon and the Bentley at that occasion. This is probably enough for a first foray on this website. I have many more memories I will be glad to share.

Respectfully,

John Becker

T. John F. Becker
tjfbecker@centurylink.net
(252) 482-5064 (Home) (252) 724-0531 (Cell)
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Old 25th April 2011, 02:29   #37
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Default Re: W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARTYBRIT View Post
Dear Clare:


I can say very affirmatively in answer to the question of its original color that the roof, trunk, hood and mudguards were all black, while the sides were a very pleasing shade of what I would call "Apple Green". I am trying to find within our family records any color photos of the car while we owned it. If I can't find any, I can at least submit a color chip from Sherwin Williams that I believe comes fairly close to what I remember. I
John, welcome to the forum and thanks so much for clarifying an important piece of this car's history. Can't wait to hear more! Cheers
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Old 25th April 2011, 09:32   #38
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Default Re: W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)

Wow ....its just amazing to hear from you John on this cars history.

please do look for pictures and post soon along with whatever other details come to mind.
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Old 25th April 2011, 22:29   #39
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Default Re: W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)

Wasif:

As a newbie to this discussion, I need some guidance from those of you with more experience. I have about a dozen very good pictures (not digital) taken when LR2778 DUU 618 was owned by Ian Findlater, and he invited my brother Simon, who had sold him the Bentley about fifteen years or so earlier, and me to come to Temple Guiting in the Cotswolds to see his vintage car collection, and take the Speed Six out for a spin.

It hadn't been driven for a long time, and when he backed it out Simon said "Ian, you haven't I hope forgotten that when I sold this to you all those years ago for 17,500 pounds you promised me then that if you ever put it back on the market you'd give me a right of first refusal. Iam well aware that it has gone up hugely in value in the meanwhile, and is now worth somewhere around 200,000 pounds". Ian said "What are you talking about; just last week I was offered 300,000 pounds ($600,000). Here are the keys.. off you go". Simon and I had brought a tape recorder along to record the Bentley changing gears, a wonderful sound, and on it you can hear me say to Simon, "I bet Ian is standing in his driveway wondering if he'll ever see us again". I'll see if I can attach to this email one image, showing me on the left, Simon on the right, and the Speed Six in the middle taken with my camera at that unforgettable occasion.

I tried to attach the picture, but it seems to require a URL, and I don't have the picture in that format (yet). Can a picture be sent in any other format? As a simple attachment for instance?

I'll save more for later.

T. John F. Becker
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Old 26th April 2011, 09:49   #40
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Default Re: W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)

Hi John.

Please send the picture to me on my email and I will post it for you if its OK with you that is.

The email is wsfahmed@yahoo.com

If the image is a JPEG file stored on your computer you can just hit the manage attachment tab below the message box and then browse and attach the file directly.

Either way will work, its your choice.

I would really love to hear how the car sounded on that tape. You guys are lucky to have been able to spend time with these cars before their values hit the stratosphere and they dissapeared from regular use.
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Old 27th April 2011, 04:12   #41
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Default Re: W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)

Wasif:

In rummaging through my old cassette tapes, I think I have found the one I referred to earlier. However, I no longer have a tape player, and will need to go to Norfolk, Virginia where I have a contact who can convert cassette tapes to CDs. When I've done that, I might send you a copy.

All the best,

John Becker
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Old 29th April 2011, 12:40   #42
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Default Re: W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)

These are pictures John "ARTYBRIT" send me to upload showing the Ex Jaipur Bentley.

The colour shot is of the Bentley at the home of one of its previous owners and the racing shot is of John's brother Simon at Silverstone.

I request John to add more details on them and to send as many pictures of thsi car that he can, I think he dose have a few.

Thanks for sharing John, you have added vital chunks to teh missing history of a significant car.
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W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)-bentley-center-john-left-simon-right.jpeg.jpg  

W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)-bentley-racing-silverstone.jpg  

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Old 29th April 2011, 22:21   #43
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Default Re: W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)

Wasif:

Thanks for posting the two above pictures. In the one with the two chaps, it is me, John Becker on the left, and my brother Simon Becker on the right. The racing shot is brother Simon at Silverstone, date unknown.

You might enjoy this anecdote: some years ago I was a real estate broker in Middleburg, Virginia, and a guy I had never met walked into my office He spotted the picture I had on the wall of the Jaipur Speed Six, and after studying it for some minutes he said "its amazing how many vintage Bentleys had Dolphins on the radiator as a hood ornament". I immediately sat up, because I knew very well that the Silver Dolphin on the hood of the Speed Six had been put there by my father George Becker as a tribute to my mother Delphine de Martelly Seaman Becker, and that it was one of a kind, and I told him so.

The chap then said "do you by any chance have a relative called Sam Becker?" I replied, "Yes, he's my brother, Simon". Whereupon the man replied "Good God! He and I were in officers training camp at Mons for the 16th Fifth Lancers after WWII. He and I had many adventures in that car". He introduced himself as Billy Abel Smith, and we became firm friends.

I have some more tales, but I will save them for the additional pictures I will be uploading.

Thanks again, Wasif.

T. John F. Becker
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Old 4th May 2011, 03:19   #44
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I am going to try uploading three pictures to this thread. The first is a side view of the Jaipur Bentley Speed Six LR2778 DUU 618.

The second is a forty year old color photo of the same Bentley showing the original color when it came to the Becker family in 1937. The color quality has deteriorated, sad to say, but it clearly shows that Black and Green were the basic colors.

The last is a color chart put out by Sherwin Williams in the USA. As I recall the original green it fell somewhere between the shade SW 6718, "Overt Green" and SW 6719 "Gecko". This is the closest to what I remember that I have been able to find.

Please note: the black and white side view clearly shows that the trunk color was the same as the side panel color. I had said earlier that I thought the trunk was black, but I was clearly wrong.

I hope this transmits okay. Here goes!

John Becker
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W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)-bentley-22-edith-grove.jpg  

W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)-bentley-1971-wsimon-tuppy-judy.jpg  

W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)-bentley-color-sherwin-williams.jpg  

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Old 4th May 2011, 21:30   #45
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Default Re: W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931)

I forgot to say that the people in the color photo above are Simon Becker and his young daughter Tuppy, and Judy Earnhardt Adams, a mutual friend of John and Simon. I did say that the photo was taken in 1971.

T. John F. Becker
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