Christina and Paul McCaffrey’s ’54 Bentley
Are those Holley Carburetors we can see in the Bentley? Oh no, they are SUs, straight from the island!
We purchased our 1954 Bentley R-Type on 10/3/1999 from Philip Palmer – Starksboro. Original owner was Stephen John Pilkington of “The Quarries”, Quarry Drive, Ormskirk, Lancaster County, England. The vehicle was imported to Lake Placid NY in 1985. Chassis is a Standard Steel Saloon # B109ZX; 4 1/2 Litre; bench front seat; RHD; Coker Tires
We took it to the RROC ( The International Club for Bentley & Rolls-Royce Owners & Enthusiasts) national meet in Greenwich Connecticut where the local dealer completely over-hauled the brake system. They say that Bentley and Rolls Royce vehicles don’t breakdown – they only may experience “failure to proceed”. Our Bentley R-Type had a failure to stop! Once the work was finished it practically stood on the bonnet when the brakes were applied.
I grew up in Greenwich with six siblings. Our family car was always a Ford station wagon where we fought over the chance to sit in front “way back”. We took regular Sunday drives and played “punch buggy” when VW’s were spotted. My Mom always said she’d love a Rolls Royce if she could have any car she wanted. With a small inheritance from her, the Bentley became the first in our modest “collection”.
We have used it in a few family/close friends weddings. We’d love to do more but insurance restricts “commercial use”. Paul is the designated chauffeur – I’ve only driven it in parking lots and open fields. We have taken it to VAE shows in Stowe, Shelburne, St. Albans; Knight’s Point; Manchester VT; and has been a regular 1st place winner at the Bristish Invasion in Stowe. We enjoy the Tailgate competition and dressing in Vintage clothing of the 50’s era.
Bio: Paul and I were married in Ireland. We both work at the University of Vermont Medical Center in the Operating Room. Paul has been a surgical technician for 43 years; I am a neurosurgical nurse there. Paul served in the Army in Vietnam, was a City Councilor in Winooski, and was a private investigator. I formally worked as an independent stockbroker and as a Cost Estimator for General Electric/Lockheed Martin. We have five grown children: Lauren, Coberlin, Jameson, William James and John (Jack). Five grandchildren: Hillary, Marley, Paris, Taylor and Zoey. We also enjoy Lake Champlain – Sailing out of LCYC in Shelburne Bay and fishing.