FROM BOND TO BENTLEY AND BACK

Rambles Through a Motoring Life
By Roger Bateman
250 pages     152 photographs         paperback 234 x 156 mm
£14.99 + p&p      ISBN 978-1-3999-2920-2 
Publisher: Roger Bateman

To call Roger Bateman a car enthusiast is an understatement. Completely captivated by motor cars since childhood, this book spans 73 years. An automobile engineering graduate, Roger was Manager of The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu for 16 years and then spent a further 8 years managing Fiennes Restoration, the top pre-war Rolls-Royce & Bentley specialists. In addition he has worked for Firestone, Volkswagen, Audi, Peugeot, Thatcham, Hertz and NG kit cars. 

His story is told through his experiences of working in the motor industry, the people he has met and literally hundreds of vehicles. These include his own cars, those that passed through his hands at Fiennes such as the Woolf Barnato Bentley 4.25 litre, the entire Beaulieu museum collection, and driving Nick Mason’s Ferrari F40.

Along the way he has met, and in some cases befriended, dozens of interesting people including (in no particular order or importance) Lord Montagu, Stirling Moss, Paddy Hopkirk, Tony Dron, Nick Baldwin, Ron Dennis, Ross Benson, Sir Thomas Sopwith, Murray Walker, Tiff Needell, Dame Vera Lynn, George Melly, Prince Charles, Nicholas Ridley, Magnus Magnusson, Prince Michael of Kent and Nick Mason.

Roger started driving a Bond Minicar 3-wheeler at age sixteen and has owned and restored 28 classic cars, including designing and building a unique 1935 Bentley 3.5 litre Special.  The culmination is the restoration of a second Bond, giving rise to the title of the book. He has owned a 1937 Riley Kestrel for 36 years which has been his daily transport. His story includes brief sorties into classic boats and vintage aeroplanes too.

He has researched the histories of several of these cars and related their fascinating stories in the book. Such as how he tracked down the 1932 Austin Seven he sold in 1969 and repurchased in 2002; or the remarkable tale of his 1947 MG TC, traced from the dealer who sold it new in South Africa to the present day, including how it came home to England in 1986 and became a film star along the way.

Order only on the publisher’s website www.bondtobentley.uk

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