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Photographer's Note

Yesterday was the day of the annual Biggar Veteran and Vintage Rally and I took along my own little Austin Ten car and participated in the 26 mile run without any problems before returning to the showfield by late morning.

There were almost a thousand entries to the show, including cars, motorcycles, lorries (trucks), 'buses, tractors and other farm machinery. I was carefully lining up to frame this beautiful replica of a vintage racing Bentley motor car when a young fellow walked in front of me. I thought that the shot was ruined but, when I later looked at it more closely, I think he actually adds something special to the picture, despite the fact that his face is not in sharp focus. See what you think!

W.O. Bentley produced the most magnificent motor cars in the 1920s and their racing models had amazing success, first winning the Le Mans 24 hour race in 1924 and then winning that same race four years in succession from 1927 to 1930. And, in 1929, their cars finished in first, second, third and fourth places, a feat which was not to be bettered until Ferrari won in 1963.

The Bentleys were enormous heavy motor cars, very powerful and very reliable but not all people approved of their design. The famous Ettore Bugatti, an Italian-born but French naturalized citizen who built the most beautiful cars at the time, rather disparagingly called the Bentleys "Le Camion Plus Vite du Monde" - or "The World's fastest Lorry". His concept of how to build motor cars was based on an observation he had made many years before - "Le poids, c'est l'ennemi" - "Weight is the enemy" - in other words, if you want your cars to go faster, build them lighter and you won't need such powerful engines.

You can see a larger version of this photograph on "beta" TE here.

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Additional Photos by John Cannon (tyro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1313 W: 396 N: 4982] (20014)
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