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Past Meeting

Adam and Jill Singer - Oxford Bentley Night - FR5189:The First Supercharged Bentley

Adam and Jill Singer gave us a talk about their famous 1927 Supercharged Bentley (FR5189).

May Cunliffe at Shelsley Walsh It is the very first supercharged Bentley and the only 3 litre model to have been built and supercharged at the Bentley Cricklewood works.

It has raced at Brooklands, Southport Sands and Shelsley Walsh. It was made famous by May Cunliffe who raced this little red Bentley (always red - never green) in the 1920s. It is capable of over 110 miles per hour with no front brakes! This car is still regularly raced, and still wins.

Adam and Jill's tale is about its owners who have raced, crashed and sometimes died in this car; the cars period in the wilderness; its restoration and subsequent use.

Little Red

FR5189 is an early 1920s 3 litre Bentley. It is a significant and unique car.

It started life with a flat radiator and raced as a TT car. It was then the demonstrator car for Bentley's North of England distributor George Porter, who also raced it. It was driven by Bentley Boy Bertie Kensington-Moir at Brooklands and, most of all, was the first Bentley to be supercharged and the only one to be supercharged in the Bentley works.

This little 3 litre car has always been red, was known as "Little Red" by May Cunliffe, who added the supercharger. She raced the car extensively and very successfully in the 1920s.

Today it is still raced by Rachel Singer. Rachel in the line up at Silverstone

The Singers

Rachel & Adam The Singer family has been motor racing for the last 14 years in cars ranging from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Adam Singer has had a career in television, and in 1989 launched the US Discovery Channel in Europe. He was also Chariman of Benjafields racing club, and is currently Chair of the UK Hydrographic Office, a 200 year old business owned by the Ministry of Defence that supplies navigational information to the worlds shipping and, most of all, to the Royal Navy. In 2010 he drove the Peking to Paris in a 1927 6.5 litre Bentley.

Jill Singer is looking into the history of FR5189, though her more usual research into the early development of Anglo Saxon and the English language has, strangely, proved less than useful.

Rachel Singer still races "Little Red", recently with one of the stars of Brian Johnson's television programme "Cars that Rock". Unfortunately Rachel has moved to Berlin and so cannot be part of our evening meeting.

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Date:14 April 2016

Place:Chemistry Research Laboratory (CRL), South Parks Rd, Oxford, OX13TA

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