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Lot 632: 1935 Bentley 3.5-Litre Sports Saloon

Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles, Bonhams (3 December 2007)

Although Rolls-Royce’s acquisition of Bentley Motors in 1931 robbed the latter of its independence, it did at least ensure the survival of the Bentley name. Launched in 1933, the first of the ‘Derby Bentleys’, as they would come to be known, continued the marque’s sporting associations but in a manner even more refined than before. Even W O Bentley himself acknowledged that the 3.5-Litre model was the finest ever to bear his name. Based on the contemporary Rolls-Royce 20/25hp, the 3.5-Litre Bentley was slightly shorter in the wheelbase and employed a tuned (115bhp) twin-SU-carburettor version of the former’s overhead-valve six. Add to this already remarkable package an all-synchromesh four-speed gearbox and servo assisted brakes, and the result was a vehicle offering the driver effortless sportscar performance in almost absolute silence. ‘The Silent Sports Car’, as it was swiftly dubbed, had few peers as a tireless long-distance tourer, combining as it did traditional Rolls-Royce refinement with Bentley performance and handling.
The Derby Bentley was, of course, an exclusively coachbuilt automobile and as befitted its sporting nature was almost always fitted with owner-driver saloon or drophead coupé coachwork, the ‘standard’ designs being the work of Park Ward. Of the 2,442 examples manufactured (including the subsequent 4.25-Litre model) almost 50% were bodied by Park Ward, that offered here being one of them.
Chassis number ‘B16DK’ has been the subject of a long-term full restoration, commenced in the 1990s and completed only recently, which included rebuilding the engine with a new cylinder head. Finished in pale blue over dark blue with brown leather interior, the car is presented in good condition throughout and offered with restoration invoices, old-style buff logbook (issued 1957) Swansea V5 registration document and fresh MoT.


Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles
Bonhams, Olympia, London,
TypeCar
Lot Number632
Estimate£30000-£35000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£25000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£28750
Year1935
Condition rating
Registration number205 XUJ
Mileage-
Chassis numberB16DK
Engine numberT7BJ
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors