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Club History

Keston Pelmore - Bentley Drivers Club Founder
Keston Pelmore
  • 1933

    Keston Pelmore, whose initiative launched the Club

    Was an enthusiastic young owner of Vintage Bentleys, commencing with a rather tired 3 Litre he purchased in 1933. Captivated by the experience of "REAL motoring such as I had never experienced before", Pelmore, embodying the all-consuming enthusiasm and exhilaration that Bentley motoring has engendered for more than 80 years, wanted to share this experience with like-minded fortunate individuals.

  • 1936


    Pelmore, having decided on his course of action, affixed the cards to the windscreen of every Vintage Bentley he could find in the various car parks at Brooklands during the first meeting of the season in March 1936. The invitation was to the owner to contact the above if he was interested in the formation of such a Club, and was then invited to attend an inaugural meeting at his small bachelor flat in Sloane Avenue, London SW3.

So good was the response – 26 people turned up – it became necessary for a phone call to be made to the nearby Boltons Hotel in Earls Court Road, which agreed to provide a suitable private room where the meeting could reconvene. A committee was elected, and within a month a run was organised to the Old Bell at Hurley, Berkshire, which attracted no less than 31 Bentleys. Later that year, a two-lap race on the Outer Circuit took place at Brooklands which attracted 14 entrants. Clearly, Keston Pelmore had successfully identified the need for a Club specifically for these iconic and inspirational motor cars.

The Club ended 1936 with 54 Members, which rose steadily to 110 by the outbreak of war in 1939. During that time, Woolf Barnato agreed to become President, and other notable Members included Dr JD Benjafield, Bertie Kensington-Moir, Frank Clement and WO Bentley himself, who always expressed surprise, but pleasure, that the cars that he had created should continue to exercise such a hold over their owners. Sadly, the conflict brought Bentley activity to a complete halt and took the lives of some of those pre-war pioneers, including Keston Pelmore.