Benjafield’s Racing Club was formed in 1990 and we take our inspiration from the man who won Le Mans in 1927, with his co-driver Sammy Davis in a 3 Litre Bentley. Dr Dudley Benjafield; known to his friends as Benjy, was born in 1887. He was a successful amateur racing driver racing from 1924 to 1936 in a variety of cars, and when not racing he was a bacteriologist who practiced medicine in his Wimpole Street surgery, he died in 1957.
Dudley Benjafield was a member of the “Bentley Boys”, whose ‘high life’ antics out of their cars became as famous as their achievements in them. He was close friends with Sir Henry R.S. (Tim) Birkin , who was the leading driver of his day, (the equivalent of a Lewis Hamilton or a Stirling Moss) and also with Sammy Davis, Bernard Rubin , Glen Kidston , Frank Clement & John Duff and Woolf (Babe) Barnato, the men who made Le Mans and the Bentley marque famous.
We look back and think of these cars as vintage motoring, but these men, never drove vintage Bentleys, they drove Bentleys that were the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of their day, Bentleys with overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, superchargers, and twin spark plugs per cylinder, cars that were the cutting edge of 1920s tech. When these cars became obsolete in the 30s those that kept racing moved on to Alfa Romeos, Maseratis, and MGs to name but a few. This is why we are not only about Bentleys, but have a passion for the whole canon of historic motorsport.
However it is more than racing, Dudely Benjafield held informal dinner parties at his home in Wimpole Street for The Bentley Boys, together with other enthusiasts who included the Duke of Kent, (the father of Prince Michael of Kent, Patron of Benjafield’s Racing Club). It was during these evenings that the idea of the British Racing Drivers Club was formed. Dudley Benjafield became the first Treasurer of the BRDC that now owns Silverstone and runs the British Grand Prix.
Benjy combined a passion for racing, for family, and work, with a passion for good company and good food, and that is a set of values we strive to emulate in Benjafield’s Racing Club.