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England vs. Italy Demo Day

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Museum Event
England vs. Italy Demo Day
May 26, 2012
Photos by
Andrew Taylor

The theme of this month’s Driving Demonstration Day was England vs. Italy in the Battle for Le Mans. In the late 1920s, Bentley ruled the Le Mans 24-hour race: five wins between 1924 and 1930. By the early 1930s, it was Alfa Romeo who emerged as the dominant racing sports car (consecutive Le Mans wins from 1931 – 1934). Dr. Simeone began the presentation with a discussion of why the shift happened and why even patriotic racers like Lord Howe found to necessary to buy Italian if they wanted to win. Then Kevin Kelly and his crew took two Bentleys from the collection: the 1927 Bentley Speed Model, and the 1930 Bentley 4.5-liter Blower, and two examples of the model that ended their reign, the Alfa Romeo 8C out back to run. The Alfas were the 1934 *C Le Mans driven by Lord Howe (hence it’s blue paint – the family color) and the red 8C Monza.

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