David Dixon has had a lifelong interest in classic cars and helped organise a special Bentley tour for the 96 Club around Cumbria last summer.

He started his career selling advertising for newspapers, but then went into the world of banking, working as an area manager for Bank of Europe and then as regional manager for Bank of America. He moved into corporate lease finance for cars and other vehicles, as well as property development through his company Dixon Prestige Homes. He also worked as a debt recovery consultant for Harrison and Hetherington livestock auctioneers, in Carlisle.

He said: "In one of my first jobs I was assistant advertising manager at the Cumbria Gazette and it was mainly car advertising. That was a big part of the magazine, the income I was bringing in from the ground round garages and doing all the advertising.

“After working for Bank of America I went to work for a company named Linklease of London. That was a finance company that looked after cars, lorries, plant and other machinery. They made me area manager for the North West of England and all of Scotland. That was a big job and I had lovely cars at that time, I had Porsches, Jags, all kinds. I used to travel in five days a week, from Carlisle to Manchester and I was first in the office. They didn't have so many cameras on the motorway then so I could get there quite quickly.

“Throughout my whole career I’ve been lucky enough to be able to buy some really fantastic cars. I’ve probably had 25 or 30 classic cars over the years. I bought the very, very last DB7 Aston Martin. When I sold that I bought the Aston Martin Rapide. That has a specially tuned Aston Martin Cosworth engine, which is capable of doing more than 200 miles an hour.

"At the moment I have a Rolls-Royce Silver Spur and a Mercedes SL 250 and Mercedes CLS estate. The Rolls-Royce was the very first Mk II Spur off the production line, registered in January 1989.

"I'm a member of the 96 Club, in Belgravia, which brings together lots of people with a wonderful collection of exotic cars. Last August it was decided that Bentley wanted the 96 Club to take the latest Flying Spur Bentley to some interesting places. They came up and we set off from Lowther Castle, we also went to Netherby Hall and then we headed to west Cumberland. There we met up with Robert Gates, formerly of Gates Tyres, who has seven historic Bentleys as well as a selection of Jaguars. He invited us over to Malcolm Wilson's rally driver's establishment at M-Sport, in Dovenby. We took the Bentley on the racetrack and Malcolm drove it around at speed.

“Of course, the engineering of the cars is very important but it’s the handling and the feel of them that I have always loved. It was great to be able to take a tour through such beautiful surroundings in the Bentley and witness an expert driver like Malcolm at the wheel.”