The Eddie Hall Model – an update

Pic 1. On view in the Wroxton clubhouse. The large model of Eddie Hall’s Derby-built Bentley racing car (B35AE), presented to him by Rolls-Royce after the 1936 season, the purchase of which by the Foundation was publicized in Review 285 and for which an appeal was launched.


I am very pleased to report that our objective to raise £12,000 towards the purchase, restoration and upkeep of this important Bentley artifact has been accomplished, the final figure arrived at through a most generous final donation by BDC member The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie. Due to Sir Michael’s generosity, the appeal is now closed. All other contributors are also to be thanked for their generous contributions – you know who you are. As reported in Review 292, the bonnet straps were repaired most satisfactorily by the Leather Conservation Centre at the University of Northampton. If any readers are able to advise on further conservation from experience, either myself or Alan Bodfish would welcome hearing from you. It is rather like approaching an ‘oily rag’ as The Automobile describes motor cars which are in need of gentle TLC but not a full restoration, although I do wonder from time to time how people think that rusty panels and chassis (‘original’ rust I call it) are going to survive another 90 years!  


The main section of the model was made of wood, painted; most probably sprayed. Due to the change in temperatures and humidity levels which the model has encountered in its life, traveling from the UK to South Africa and then sitting for many years in the Halls’ flat in Monaco, the paint has cracked and lifted in places. It would look to be almost impossible to touch up these areas, and therefore, at present, I am investigating climate controlled museum standard cabinets. The tyres, supposedly ‘sourced’ from India Tyres ashtrays (remember those in the service manager’s office brimming with ‘fag ends’?) have rather permanent looking flats on their bottoms due to the weight of the model bearing on them through the years and need gentle reforming. Since we took the model into our care, the underneath of the body has been lifted on a block of wood, relieving the tyres. Unfortunately, they have yet to conveniently ‘pop’ back into shape. Does anyone dare apply very gentle heat? Those are the two main areas to deal with, which are being approached with care.


 The W.O.Bentley Memorial Foundation, W O Bentley Memorial Building, Ironstone Lane, WROXTON, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX15 6ED, England.  

Tel: +44(0)1295 738886, Fax: +44(0)1295 738811,     

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