Alan Padgett, together with his son Jeremy, are in the forefront in terms of expertise and volume of Bentley Specials built over the years. As well as building cars, Alan has been competing in Bentleys since the early 1950’s with many wins to his credit. Padgett Motor Engineers are still operating, specialising in RR/Bentley rally competition preparation to winning standards.
This very pretty open two-seater Bentley Mk. VI (Big Bore) Special with split screen ‘V’ windscreen, superb alloy bodywork (w/steel frame) and impressive Lucas “King of the Road” P100 headlamps, was one of his first recreations, built to order in 1969, for first owner Barry Motion of Church Fenton Hall, in Yorkshire who kept if for 4 years.
After 3 more owners it was acquired by Wilf Gooding, well known Lincolnshire farmer and collector who purchased the Special in 1976 from Harry J. Sibley, a Rolls-Royce specialist based in Cornwall and, to aid the purchase, he told his wife that the car had extra wide seating, capable of accommodating two adults and two small children. The only changes made to the car were in 1977 when he had an outside handbrake and a new external stainless steel exhaust system fitted. Much later, he changed the polarity to negative earth and fitted electronic ignition.
After 40 years of continuous ownership the car changed hands again in 2016 and has since been part of a private collection. Finished in the traditional British Racing Green, with tan hide interior and walnut dashboard, this unique Bentley Sportscar is supplied with a V5C registration document, copies of old registration documents going back to Alan Padgett’s ownership in 1969, a number of old MoT test certificates, the bill of sale from 1976 and anecdotal history, including a letter from Padgett himself.
A very genuine and unrestored example which could easily be mistaken for a bona fide pre-war W.O. Bentley product thanks to its deliciously patinated and aging bodywork etc. The consensus of opinion is however, that to remove these minor imperfections would rob the car of 50 years of natural mellowed maturity which could not be replicated accept by the passage of many decades. It has so much vintage charm and character it would be a shame to alter anything.
The car is featured in Ray Roberts Book of Bentley Specials & Special Bentleys (vol 1 & 2) which is the definitive bible of all professionally constructed special-bodied Bentleys. Copy of entry included in history portfolio.
A very attractive and usable ‘Crewe Special’, which was designed and built by one of the leading Bentley builders of the time. Eligible for prestigious vintage rallies and BDC events, on account of it’s mechanical originality.
A rare opportunity to acquire an exclusive, investment-quality motorcar at a very keen price (Better than money in the Bank) For more info on this enchanting vehicle call or text John on 07909 231414. Also see my other classic cars on here. UK Delivery arranged at £1 pr/mile (one way) Overseas by quotation.
Padgett Motor Engineering was established in 1957 in Newbury, Berkshire, by Alan Padgett. Alan was apprenticed as a motor mechanic in York during World War Two, until his conscription in 1946, and served in the Royal Air Force in the Far East. By 1949 he was back in England and, having finished his apprenticeship, started working part time on motor vehicle repairs including vintage cars. In 1954, now married, he and his wife moved to Newbury, Berkshire. Alan was involved with racing Bentleys after selling his first vintage car (a 12/40 Lea Francis) and buying a 1926 Speed Model 3 Litre and from 1954 he worked part time with Tony Townshend at Whittonditch works, to gain essential experience. By 1964, a newly emerged class of post-war Bentleys were well known in racing, the Mk Vl sports and racing ‘special’. The Bradley Brothers were the first to take this route and must be given full credit for such foresight. Padgett’s first design, which proved to be popular, was built with a modified chassis design, moving the engine and transmission rearwards, creating the traditional sporting lines of a Bentley sports car, thereby setting a trend that has survived to this day. This ever improving class of sports car paved the way for another style of Bentley to grab the headlines. The Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon, upgraded to Rally Specification, of which some 12 have been rebuilt, proved to be the most highly sought after Bentley of any genre. Jeremy Padgett eventually took over full control of the business in 1995 when his father retired, after 54 years as a motor engineer.