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Eddie Hall at Le Mans in 1950


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#1 Jager

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 05:44

It is frequently said that Eddie drove the 1950 race single-handedly in his Pre-war Bentley special.

 

10451710_862039807185255_643416469482798

 

 

"There was a swansong performance for that car, however, when Hall drove it in the second post-war Le Mans 24-hour race in 1950, becoming the first man to drive solo for the entire distance, despite having a co-driver in the pits ready to take over. When asked by Denis Jenkinson what the toilet arrangements were if he never left the cockpit for 24 hours, Hall replied 'Green overalls, old boy !' "

 

 

I'm wondering if this is fact, or one of those myths that's been repeated on so many websites it's become an internet "fact" ?

 

Is this Eddie pictured with the car above ?

 



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#2 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 06:06

We discussed this some ten years ago without being able to settle the matter conclusively. With luck, new info might have come to light since then:

Eddie Hall

#3 Jager

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 06:33

Thanks Tim - I did search for past posts, but didn't go back as far as 10 years.

 

For those that are interested, the Bentley resides int he Collier Collection at the Rev's Institute in Naples, Florida. While they state it has the streamlined body by Offord & Sons, Ltd, the front appears to have lost its sloping grill/radiator and its been replaced by a more traditional "vertical" grill radiatior.

 

Bentley-4-1-4-liter-Offord-front-3-4-900

 

https://revsinstitut...n/1933-bentley/



#4 Roy C

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 07:43

There are some great pictures of Eddie Hall (including Le Mans 1950) here: http://www.archaeogr...s/REVSStanford/



#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 17:24

Is that Eddie in the initial post's photograph?

 

No. It is not.

 

DCN



#6 D-Type

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Posted 14 February 2022 - 19:44

Can I revive this thread to ask a question. 
Eddie Hall's car is listed in various databases as a Bentley "Corniche".  As I understand it, there was one Bentley Corniche which was a prototype sports saloon produced by Bentley in 1939 and destroyed in the war by a bomb.  How then does Eddie's car get called a "Corniche"?


Edited by D-Type, 15 February 2022 - 18:41.


#7 Vitesse2

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Posted 14 February 2022 - 21:48

Can I revive this thread to ask a question. 
Eddie Hall's car is listed in various databases as a Bentley "Corniche".  As I understand it, there was one Bentley Corniche which was a prototype sports saloon produced b Bentley in 1939 and destroyed in the war by a bomb.  How then does Eddie's car get called a "Corniche"?

The Bentley website claims that only the bodywork was destroyed in a bombing raid on Dieppe, the original chassis having been returned to Derby for repair after its crash in August 1939. Leaving the bodywork in France would make sense, given that it was designed by Georges Paulin and (presumably) constructed by a French carrossier - most likely his normal partner Pourtout, who had also built the Paulin-designed Embiricos Bentley.

 

The replica is built on what is believed to be an original 1939 Mk V chassis - but not apparently the original chassis of the Corniche.

 

But you're essentially correct - it's not a Corniche, because only one existed and the chassis Eddie used was an older one. Probably some sort of Chinese whispers converting a sentence like 'Eddie Hall's old Bentley, now wearing a body reminiscent of the 1939 Bentley Corniche ...' into 'Eddie Hall's Bentley Corniche'.



#8 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 15 February 2022 - 06:21

Eddie Hall’s Bentley was a very early 3.5 Litre, it went through about 4/5 different body-styles. It also was an early conversion to the later 4 1/4 L engine, kind of a RR test/semi-works effort. One of the early bodies did look like one of the Lagonda Team cars, it has been thought their bodies being inspired by the Hall one.
The photo above shows the Bentley again in the style before the war.

#9 Allan Lupton

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Posted 15 February 2022 - 08:43

Meanwhile, in the other place where Duncan is trying to impose a bit of truth, a useful Austrian has found a piece by Jenks in Motor Sport of November 1981 about the postwar history of the car and its owner. No mention of Corniche.



#10 Max3

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Posted 19 June 2024 - 17:45

The Eddie Hall car, B35EA shown above is sporting its 4th body, and it was built by James Ridlington, who had premises next to Barkers, on Olaf Street. This body is in the Collier collection still with its original body tag, but no one, not even the Revs men have bothered to look for it.

The only Offord   built body was intended to run at Le Mans 1936, it was over heavy and badly built, it was never taken off the lorry. Practice was done in B106GA, the 4rd chassis of Eddie with the 1934/35 body, and B35AE was taken back to Ridlington, stripped, weighed and scrapped.

 

Source? The Derby Experimental Files, all 5 volumes.



#11 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 June 2024 - 18:34

The Eddie Hall car, B35EA shown above is sporting its 4th body, and it was built by James Ridlington, who had premises next to Barkers, on Olaf Street. This body is in the Collier collection still with its original body tag, but no one, not even the Revs men have bothered to look for it.

The only Offord   built body was intended to run at Le Mans 1936, it was over heavy and badly built, it was never taken off the lorry. Practice was done in B106GA, the 4rd chassis of Eddie with the 1934/35 body, and B35AE was taken back to Ridlington, stripped, weighed and scrapped.

 

Source? The Derby Experimental Files, all 5 volumes.

 

This is very interesting to me, admitting as I must an interest in that I have worked for many years in close cooperation with "the Revs men".  In what sense do you mean "This body is in the Collier collection still with its original body tag, but no one, not even the Revs men have bothered to look for it"?

 

Look for what precisely?  Do you mean look 'for the body' - as if it's stashed away somewhere in seldom-visited storage - or look 'for the original body tag' that you mention?  Am I right in assuming you mean the latter?

 

The Collection narrative on B35AE - researched and written for them by the highly-respected David Burgess-Wise - includes this detailed quote from contemporary Barker stylist Harold Beach.  He had joined Barker's as an apprentice in 1928 and post-WW2 would become chief chassis engineer for Aston Martin. Aged 97 he would recall his career with startling clarity, including this reference to B35AE:

 

"The 1936 car has a label for 'J R Engineering' on its dashboard, but that is a bit of a mystery. A fellow named James Ridlington, who was the boss of the Barker engineering department, was an ex-Napier man and he was in the process of divorcing from Barkers and setting up his own engineering business. I think the tag must have got on the car prematurely. As far as I was concerned, Barkers built that body."

 

DB-W continued: "Curiously, among the telegrams wishing him well that Eddie Hall received on the eve of the (TT - DCN) race is one from the J.R. Engineering Company... A general arrangement drawing provided to motoring historian James Pack by F. Turtle (a former employee of Eddie Hall's) may provide the answer, for it gives the address of J.R. Engineering as 'Olaf Street, Latimer Road, [London]W11', which was actually the address of Barkers; J.R. Engineering was established in Willesden, NW London, over three miles away. It looks as though Ridlington was 'moonlighting' at Olaf Street - with or without Barkers' permission - prior to setting up on his own account".

 

So, yes - it seems that 'the Revs men' have long been well aware of "the original body tag" that you mention, very far indeed from "not having bothered to look for it" as you wrote.

 

Or are we still at cross purposes here and have I misunderstood your original post in other respects?

 

DCN



#12 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 21 June 2024 - 05:15

 

Source? The Derby Experimental Files, all 5 volumes.

 

So it means that B35AE has been scrapped ? Which one is the Collier car then ? Or do I understand that wrong ?


Edited by Ralf Pickel, 21 June 2024 - 05:15.


#13 Max3

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Posted 01 July 2024 - 10:21

Hi,

How do I post pictures,please?

 

Frank Turtle, now over 90, and living (?) in Cottingham, is a bit of a fantasist. Eddie had no estate and leased part of a house on Riley Lane, Kirkburton from a serving army officer, Maj Gen George Dyson, whose family had owned it since 1876. 

Turtles dad did a bit of gardening.

 

In 1939, Eddie, who already had an apartment at  55 Berkeley Court in London, relinquished the lease in 1939 and enlisted in the RASC.

 

He threw out a load of papers including the print of the J Ridlington drawing. Does that surety of line look like the tracing of a 14 year old ?

 

Turtle took James Fack in, which he admitted during a meeting at my sisters house.

 

All of his later information came from the National Motor Museum, Eddies second wife Joan, deposited all of his files there  after he died in Monte Carlo in 1982.

 

Bill Boddy wrote an excellent piece on Eddie, entitled  "The Fame of Hall", MotorSport July 2001, it shows Eddie driving his 4 1/2 litre Bentley to win the Presidents Cup, at Shelsley Walsh, 1930.

 

The other fantasist is the duffer Harold Beach, the only truth from him is in the hand written letter to D B-W in 1968, see Shanks photos, where he says that his only input was to help  Rolls Royce with the (48gallon) fuel tank. Actually he pointed Robotham to a metalworker.

 

Beach had been sacked by Barkers in 1928.


Edited by Max3, 02 July 2024 - 16:21.


#14 arttidesco

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Posted 06 July 2024 - 12:23

Hi,

How do I post pictures,please?

 

 

Can I revive this thread to ask a question. 
Eddie Hall's car is listed in various databases as a Bentley "Corniche".  As I understand it, there was one Bentley Corniche which was a prototype sports saloon produced by Bentley in 1939 and destroyed in the war by a bomb.  How then does Eddie's car get called a "Corniche"?

 

 In Quentin Spurrings Le Mans The Official History of the World's Greatest Motor Race 1949-59 Eddie Hall's solo driven Bentley is listed as a '4 ¼ TT Coupe'

 

Hi,

How do I post pictures,please?

 

Open an account at postimages.org, up load your photo's and copy the code marked 'Hotlink for forums' and paste in your Reply to this topic box. if that sounds like a bit of a faf I have sent you a message so that you can e-mail me the images and I'll be glad to post them on your behalf along with any text.



#15 arttidesco

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Posted 09 July 2024 - 06:26

From Max 3

 

Hi Art,

 

That is very kind of you, it has taken me several years to sort out the Eddie Hall story, the wheat from all the bullshit, that is.

 

ER-R3.jpg

 

As a start, these pictures prove that the contents of the letter from Harold Beach to David  Burgess-Wise  are 95% rubbish.

 

ER-R2.png

 

The "green overalls old boy" is the bravado of a 79 year old when speaking to Jenks and Young in his flat in Monte Carlo in 1979, and the night time photo by Louis Klemantaski, is proof. Eddie is on the right of shot topping up the reserve oil tank.

 

ER-HALL-1950-LE-MANS-0001.jpg

 

The AOC regulations were that the bonnet had to be sealed.   

 

ER-40.jpg

 

Kind regards,

 

Max3.



#16 Doug Nye

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Posted 09 July 2024 - 12:12

The Eddie Hall car, B35EA shown above is sporting its 4th body, and it was built by James Ridlington, who had premises next to Barkers, on Olaf Street. This body is in the Collier collection still with its original body tag, but no one, not even the Revs men have bothered to look for it...

 

Max3 - There appears to be a commonly sour and dismissive tone in your posts here, as in "the duffer Harold Beach", your having  "sorted out the wheat from the bullshit", and "This body is in the Collier collection still with its original body tag, but no one, not even the Revs men have bothered to look for it..." (so why did their consultant David-Burgess Wise actually make mention of it?) - which I find decidedly unnecessary.

 

That said, in other respects thank you for posting that extremely interesting and apparently conclusive letter from Ridlington at J.R. Engineering defining 1936 progress, Beach apparently having indeed misinformed DB-W in the letter quoted for Revs' records by the latter.  

 

DCN 



#17 Max3

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Posted 09 July 2024 - 19:16

Doug,

 

Good to hear from you.

 

My thesis is that the Revs men are referring to the body being made by Offord, when the tag actually attached to the body frame states that James Ridlington built it.

 

I found it and photographed it in Naples, Florida, so why did they not? They are also referring to the steering gear being from the Derby Bentley B2MR, when it was not. Only the steering wheel, so that Eddie could read the rev counter 

 

The JR tag was never on the dashboard, that had been changed several times, particularly in South Africa in 1948.

 

I imagine from your tone that further enlightenment on the ERH experience is unwelcome.



#18 Doug Nye

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Posted Yesterday, 18:11

All proven info is immensely welcome - Otherwise...   :confused:

 

DCN