Cars a class act

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A Silver Shadow II and S3 Bentley (inset) parked outside Southey’s Bar, Balclutha on Sunday, February 13, when 26 members of the New Zealand Rolls Royce and Bentley Club rallied with nine cars at South Otago Museum.

Museum curator Dr Roz McKechnie hosted with a documentary about historical Ben Harr before the club toured on to the township.

Rolls Royce was founded in 1904 to focus on pure luxury, while Bentley began based on speed and high performance in 1919.

Hit hard by the Great Depression, Bentley was acquired in 1931 by Rolls Royce which itself became a subsidiary of BMW in 1998.

Both Bentley and RR are still English›made, in Cheshire and Sussex respectively.

‘‘The club has members all around Otago and Southland, so Balclutha is a good central place to meet,’’ said Katy Parish, of Gore, whose father bought the 6.25 litre›V8, S3 Bentley brand new in 1965.

‘‘It has an 80›litre tank but you don’t think about the fuel economy. It’s just a lovely cruising car, and very comfortable with walnut and leather interior — and plenty of power.’’

REPORT: NICK BROOK/PHOTOS: ROZ MCKECHNIE