2010 CopperState 1000

abentleyr-003

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The route wandered up the heart of the Arizona desert, through sage brush, twisty alpine roads, deserts dotted with Sequoia cactus, paint blasting windstorms of red sand, and the grandeur of the Grand Canyon. Accompanied by his brother, Terry and Steve ventured out in one of Terry’s stunning and reliable rally steeds; a 1954 Bentley Special.

We took Mathilda, a challenging yet nimble right-hand drive sports coupe through the paces with abandon. Built for the track, she responds beautifully through the curves but gave us heart stopping palpitations as we tried to wield her generous weight to a stop. Mathilda only having 4 wheel drums with no assist! Whoa, whoa, WHOA!

Rumor has it that only two brakes were working.

Truly a wonder, Mathilda was exceptionally reliable. She purred through pounding desert heat, thin high altitude mountain air, and even withstood a blinding sand storm as we pushed through from Page to Tuba City. The high grill protected, for the most part, the finish and windshield. Later, we were to find out that other rally members were not as fortunate and kept the Hagarty representative very busy that evening.

Arizona is amazingly diverse and the terrain is constantly changing every couple of hours but perfectly ideal for rallying. The roads are mixed with wide carving hills as in the ride from Sedona to Bagdad, to the dense forest approach to the Grand Canyon Lodge where Jaguars, Mustangs and Elk comingle. There is also the heart pounding switchbacks of a mountain pass to Prescott at speeds that would be considered by many as unwise. Keeping up with a two wheeled Arizona State Motor Division escort on a narrow alpine road with sheer drops is probably better left to the likes of Hamilton or Button.

Just another week in paradise and a complete 1000 miles!

A Sample of Cars