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Lot 231: 1929 Bentley 4½ Litre open tourer by Vanden Plas

Sports, Touring, Historic Road and Racing Cars, Coys (30 April 2006)

Following the prototype's good showing at Le Mans in 1927, the 4½ litre Bentley was put into production from then until 1931, a total of 662 chassis being made, plus another 6 assembled from spares in the mid 1930s; these figures do not include the supercharged cars. The 4½ was an excellent and very robust machine, one of them winning Le Mans in 1928; it was believed to have been W.O. Bentley's favourite model. In standard form it was good for 100 b.h.p. and 90 m.p.h, but could be tuned up to 130 b.h.p. with a corresponding increase in speed. In supercharged form this could be boosted to 180 b.h.p., but Bentley did not approve of this, believing that reliability was being sacrificed. When one considers that the life-span of the W.O. Bentley was only 12 years, it is astonishing how many have survived and how the legend lives on.The five main bearing, overhead camshaft 4 ½ Litre prototype engine again boasted four valves and two spark plugs per cylinder. First tested in the 1927 Le Mans practice car, it was then fitted to the first 4 ½ Litre chassis with which Frank Clement set the fastest lap in that year's race before retiring in the famous White House crash. It was this car, christened 'Old Mother Gun,' that won the 1928 Le Mans in the hands of Barnato and Rubin. The following year, 4 ½ Litre models filled the next three places behind the winning Speed Six. The first 4 ½ Litre road cars, which produced around 105bhp at 3,500rpm via twin 'sloper' SU carburetors - and could accelerate from 0-60mph in an impressive 15 seconds and on to a 92mph maximum - became available in September 1927. During a four year production life they underwent a multitude of detail changes but all, bar nine built to special order, featured the Long Standard 10'10" chassis with all round semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension and friction dampers, and four wheel brakes with servo. When production ended in 1931, 713 4 ½ Litres had been built. HB 3415 was originally purchased by an A.S.G. Buckmaster in July 1929, this superb Le Mans style four seat tourer, with its fabric painted coachwork, Le Mans tank and instruments is a excellent vintage touring car which evokes all the style and charisma associated with the Bentley boys and their racing triumphs of the twenties and early thirties. In later years this vintage Bentley has resided in the private collection of Derek Anderson, a well known and highly respected Scottish collector whose collection consisted mainly of important pre-war Rolls Royce and Bentley motorcars. Also accompanied with this important W.O. Bentley is a fitted touring rack and trunk, essential for any enthusiast wishing to undertake the many UK and European rallies this motorcar is eligible for.Offered today in resplendent order, finished as one would expect in British Racing Green with a Black hood and tonneau cover.

Lot Details
Auction Sports, Touring, Historic Road and Racing Cars
Coys, Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit
Lot Number231
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration numberGC 3337
Chassis numberHB3415
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors