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Lot 128: Bentley 4 Litre Open Tourer

Fine Motor cars incl. The Jaguar Legend, Coys (14 July 2012)

The Derby Bentley is one of the most satisfying and usable of all pre-war sports cars, and the 4 litre version, introduced in 1936, shows an impressive performance advantage over its predecessor. The chassis and drivetrain show the usual remarkable Derby qualities of longevity and smoothness, so that a good many have now outlived their original coachwork. This is the case with chassis B141GP, which came into the possession of a discerning collector some twenty years ago who had not been able to find an example of the enormously desirable VandenPlas open tourer style originally supplied to 1930s racing hero Sir Malcolm Campbell. This is fairly unsurprising since fewer than half a dozen were ever built, and they have become some of the most valuable Derby Bentleys of all, so instead he embarked on the building of what must surely be one of the most successful evocations of the style that we have ever seen. The work began in the late 1990s with an engine overhaul by the well-known specialists Healey Bros., and then the body (correctly known as Design no. 4383) was built and fitted by specialist Michael Sharpe in Derby. As the overall condition attests, all the work has been carried out by craftsmen of the highest order, including rewiring, instruments renovated by Vintage Restorations, and most of the chromework has been replated to a very high standard. Wherever possible the original fittings, switches, handles and so on, have been retained, and necessary new or replacement parts were supplied in the main by the celebrated Will Fiennes and Co. Polished 'Ace' wheeldiscs are fitted all round, as they were to the original cars. Once completed, the car was refinished in a most impressive Oxford and Cambridge blue livery, again superbly executed, with a lavish blue leather interior and matching carpets in the correct Wilton material. To complete the effect all weather equipment (top, sidecreens and small and large tonneau cover) was carefully fitted in the correct matching dark blue double duck fabric. All of this effort is recorded in a very impressive album containing much documentation and many invoices and so forth relating to the restoration, and a good deal of paperwork dating back to the 1950s concerning the car's earlier history. This is a splendidly-restored example of an extremely desirable car; just detailed and freshly serviced, the car is ready for exhilarating summer touring use or to adorn any serious Bentley collection.

Lot Details
Auction Fine Motor cars incl. The Jaguar Legend
Coys, Blenheim Palace,Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX
Lot Number128
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating1
Registration numberCYY 758
Chassis numberB141GP
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2