Magic day the Bentleys rolled through town

20:56, Jan 30 2013
Southland Times photo
Peter Graham, of Perth, and his 4.5-litre 1927 model, Steve Sverdioff, of Britain, and his 3-litre 1925 model, and Cedric Cook, of Britain, with his 4.5-litre 1928 model are among the group of Bentley enthusiasts in the south for a tour.

Te Anau got a high brow treat yesterday when 22 vintage Bentley cars rolled through town, part of a six-week tour of New Zealand by an international group of 44 drivers and passengers.

Bentley Drivers' Club tour co-organiser Cedric Cook said 15 of the cars had come from Britain to Lyttelton for the road trip - the cost to ship each vehicle to New Zealand was $3000 - and the group set off from Christchurch on January 18. The tour will finish back in Christchurch on March 3.

Five other Bentleys had come from Australia and two were from New Zealand, he said.

Similar tours were regularly organised by the club in South Africa and North America. Mr Cook, who is the managing director and co-owner of AWB Textiles in Cornwall, said he had been driving a Bentley since he was 20 - and 47 years later the cars had still not lost their magic.

"They are a fabulous quality of motor vehicle . . . they would top most vintage car values."

He declined to say how much his 4.5-litre 1928 Bentley was worth.


The price of most Bentley cars was "a little bit dazzling".

While the drive from Franz Joseph to Queenstown was magnificent, Mr Cook said he was looking forward to coming to Invercargill on Friday to see Burt Munro's motorcycle before heading to Bluff.

The group would also visit Napier to lead a parade that will kick off the city's annual Art Deco Festival.

Choosing a favourite landscape so far was "a mission impossible" but getting to know New Zealanders had been a delight, he said.

The weather so far had been "fabulous", he said.

The Southland Times