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· Administrator
571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You might have noticed the post right below this one, which offers a fairly rudimentary overview of the Silver Shadow.

I'd like to do a few of these wikipedia-style articles in an effort to give Google more to index, and to give newcomers to Rolls-Royce and Bentley a brief history of some of the models.

If you would like to do a 500-1500 word article on your car, or any model for that matter, let me know and I'll post it as a sticky.

· Registered
6 Posts
Who in Blazes is J.P. Blatchley?

I don't know if this is a "sticky," but here goes! This is a post I wrote for my blog (to continue the RR history lesson):

Many people have never heard of John Polwhele Blatchley although they most likely know his work. He passed away a few years ago (2008) and it is worth noting this man’s contribution to the design of many iconic Rolls Royce and Bentley automobiles, and the place they took in the popular imagination. Chief stylist for the Silver Clouds, Blatchley left us with automotive shapes that have become evocative parts of our collective unconscious. He had an interest in automotive design at a young age, and it has been said that he would make sketches of cars when he was confined to bed with rheumatic fever as a boy. After attending the College of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering in Chelsea, and then the Regent Street Polytechnic, he began his official career at popular coachbuilder J Gurney Nutting & Co, then a stint at James Young and finally made his way to Rolls Royce, where his illustrious contributions went from the drawing board to the road, for years to come. In the 1940‘s he worked on the Bentley Mk VI, and the RR Silver Dawn, and the sister Bentley “R” Type. Into the 1950’s and 60’s he was lead designer on the Clouds and the “new” Silver Shadow/ Bentley T series, that marked Rolls Royce’s entry to modernity. It is worth noting, also, that in the beginning, many of his designs were rejected- as being “too modern.”

And so it goes with the adoption curve. First an idea is rejected, then adopted reluctantly, and finally emulated and copied. The contemporary Rolls Royce still owes a debt to this man’s work, and the shapes he created; the sensibilities he conveyed to these automobiles lives on in the continuation of these designs, in “new” but very familiar ways. They are still “variations on the theme” in terms of their styling. And that is why we call these old cars “classics.”
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