Birthdays, Boodles and Bentleys

The month of September was a busy one for CGT with back-to-back driving tours across Spain and France including a bespoke tour for the Bentley Drivers Club. It was also a month full of birthday celebrations giving us plenty of excuses to pop a few champagne corks.
Guest writer: Jo Robinson 


Salon Privé Classic & Supercar Day
September’s automotive celebrations started in style with the prestigious Salon Privé Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance, Britain’s oldest and most exclusive classic car competition, held in the beautiful grounds of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. Mixing business with pleasure, CGT attended the four-day automotive garden party to admire the finest collection of supercars, hypercars and classic cars.

Salon Prive

We were delighted to attend Friday’s Salon Privé Ladies’ Day by Boodles, giving us the opportunity to dress up and mingle with automotive royalty. The combination of champagne, lobster, afternoon tea with some of the rarest and exquisite cars from around the world was the perfect summer’s day out for CGT.

CGT at Salon PRive

Sunday was an early start for CGT to set up our stand in front of the glittering palace and close to the Bentley Drivers Club ready to welcome automotive fans. A huge attraction on our stand was our client’s Porsche GT3 RS. We were tremendously grateful to have been loaned the stunning supercar for the event and it certainly proved to be a hit. We would like to think it was our charm and good looks that attracted so many visitors to our stand!

The largest gathering of Bentleys in history!
It was a pleasure to see many of our friends from the Bentley Drivers Club participating in the Marque’s centenary celebrations this year. It was quite overwhelming to witness 1,321 modern and heritage Bentleys arrive at the Bentley Drivers Club Annual Rally on Sunday at Blenheim Palace that set a new world record for Bentley.

As part of its centenary celebrations, Bentley chose Salon Privé to present its brand-new Bentley Corniche, the stunning recreation of the 1939 experimental pre-war prototype that was destroyed during the War.

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CGT on the road
First up was the Circuit des Remparts in Angoulême, celebrating its 80th birthday from 13th to 15th September 2019.  It’s the only street circuit that remains unchanged since holding its first event in 1939 and we were thrilled to join the birthday celebrations, especially as 2019 marked CGT’s 26th consecutive year of attendance.

Lancia Flamina Zagato

We welcomed an eclectic mix of 24 stunning cars on tour this year and we provided quite a spectacle as we disembarked the ferry at St Malo. Once on the road, we experienced perfect driving conditions under the warm autumn sunshine on our carefully selected route through the Loire valley down to Angoulême. As the official tour operator for the Circuit des Remparts, CGT yet again delivered the very best hospitality and access to the race. With incredible weather, everyone enjoyed a spectacular weekend of events including a Concours d’Elegance, a rally through the Cognac vineyards, a gala buffet in the impressive covered market and of course the exciting race on the city’s Remparts. We can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Angouleme 2019

Thoroughly enjoyed the trip, staff all so friendly, as a classic car driver it is so comforting to have the backup mechanic facility with us, I think this makes a huge difference on clients’ choice of touring companies. Thanks for a brilliant trip guys.

Angouleme Driver

 A huge thank you to everyone from the Lancia. Everybody contributed to making it such a fun holiday. Special thanks of course to CGT team - all your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Bugattis at Angouleme

 What a fantastic trip. Great collection of cars and people. Excellent organisation and venues as usual.

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Celebrating Bentley’s centenary year
It was an honour and a privilege to design and host the Bentley Centenary Autumn Tour 2019 to the Loire Valley, on behalf of the North West Region of the Bentley Drivers Club.  It was quite a surreal experience to lead the way in the CGT tour car and see 26 beautiful Bentleys following us from our rear-view mirror.

Bentleys at Hotel de France

Our 5-night tour from 14th September combined the thrill of scenic driving with motor racing history as well as fine cuisine and interesting excursions. Our base for four nights was The Hotel de France, near Le Mans, one of our favourite places to stay as it is filled with motor racing history.

Not only were we celebrating the centenary of Bentley Motors on our tour but also the birthday of its founder, W.O.Bentley, on Monday 16th September. Our day of celebrations commenced with a drive to Le Mans circuit along the original route used by many team cars from the 50s and 60s. Once on the circuit, it was an unforgettable experience witnessing 26 Bentleys on parade and lining up on the grids. We continued celebrating W.O.’s birthday over lunch and raised our glasses in his memory over a spectacular dinner at our hotel.

blower bentley on the loire

After plenty of driving, we gave our Bentley drivers some time off on the penultimate day of the tour with a cruise along Le Loire! A thoroughly good time was had by all as we meandered along the river, taking in the stunning scenery and listening to the sounds from our French musicians on-board.

As the Bentley Drivers Club centenary tour ended, we prepared to celebrate yet another birthday on Thursday 19th September - CGT’s very own John Marcar!  After saying goodbye to our guests, we headed for Caen for the overnight ferry to Portsmouth and a beer for the birthday boy!

Blower Bentley Chateau

“Everything was planned with military precision by your highly professional team - always kind and very patient! I couldn’t praise your team highly enough and was the icing on the cake to a fabulous holiday.”

Bentleys at a Chateau

“Our first, and we certainly hope, not the last time we travel with CGT and look forward to further joint ventures with BDC.”

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CGT Director wins the Brooklands Trophy race at Goodwood Revival
Just when we thought the September celebrations were over, we were thrilled to hear that CGT Director, Martin Overington came from fourth on the grid to win the Brooklands Trophy in his 1929 4½ litre ‘Blower’ at Goodwood Revival on 16th September.

Martin Overington wins at Goodwood

Continuing Bentley’s centenary celebrations, 29 incredible pre-war Bentley sports cars competed for the Brooklands Trophy and followed tradition with all cars starting the race with their roofs raised, before lowering them during the race with the support of only one mechanic.

Martin won by just four seconds from fellow Bentley Drivers Club member Oliver Llewellyn (4½ litre).

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The birth of Bentley Motors
Finally, CGT would like to pay homage to the great W.O. Bentley, the founder of Bentley Motors. After being recognised for his vital contribution to the first world war, W.O.

w o bentley

Bentley was awarded an MBE in 1919. He subsequently received £8,000 from the Commission of Awards to Inventors, which gave him the capital he needed to start his own car company. Bentley Motors was born on 10th July 1919 and W.O. had a single goal:

"To build a fast car, a good car, the best in its class.”

It was a goal he would achieve again and again in his lifetime and now his legacy remains as the world continues to admire and desire the highly coveted Marque.

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