Lot 295 - 1934 Bentley 3½ litre Roadster ‘The Ian Pitney Special’
|Odometer reading||44,949 miles|
|Estimate||£160,000 - £200,000|
|Result||Sold - £142,400|
The Ian Pitney Special is utterly bespoke.
In order to understand the mentality behind this creation, you need to understand Pitney Restorations. Started by Ian Pitney's father in 1973 and followed by his son Ian in 2002, Pitney restorations have been creating one-off aluminium panels for pre and post-war motor cars in the same time-honoured traditions. The most immaculate curves and lines seen on the world's most expensive cars start life in workshops such as these.
The English wheel, rollers, clamps and hammers are all that's required to turn flat aluminium into the most voluptuous and inspired shapes imaginable. That and, of course, skill and experience and it is precisely this skill and experience that makes an un-prepossessing workshop into an Aladdin's cave of sleeping beauty's awaiting the Pitney treatment.
Ian has been creating stunning panels for the great and the good for years, until January, 2013 when, in one of those 'shower moments' when you're not really thinking of anything much, he decided to make something special for himself. Something using styling cues he had bumped into over the years, liked and subconsciously lodged in the old grey matter. The starting point, a 1934 3½ litre Bentley with sound chassis and mechanics but an uninspiring saloon body. Once the body had been removed, the chassis sealed and the engine ancillaries, (carburettors etc) cleaned, it was time to begin to create something that Ian wanted. To wit, a two-seat, open tourer with a Monza tail and 'flying-wings'. The cockpit has been relocated further back on the chassis to show-off a bonnet to die for, a well proportioned tail and many other carefully considered details.
Starting at the bottom, the suspension has been enclosed in 4½ litre-style leather gaiters, full-length under trays and vented chassis rails covers. The coach work, hand-beaten aluminium of course, is effortlessly draped over the superstructure in such a way as to promote a feeling of power to the front end, a streamlined profile with those Delage-style wheel arches and the pre-war Alfa Romeo competition rear end. But these are the basics, wherever you look, you find further clever details. From the hand-curved exhaust with a wide bore promising (and delivering) that sonorous note beloved by the Wolf Banato and chums. The Le Mans-Style fuel filler cap doesn't open unless you have a hex-key to open the rear compartment, there you will find a button. Clever.
There is immaculately crafted aluminium trim around the rear quarters, beautiful hinges and freshly re-chromed headlamps and bonnet cowling. The cockpit also holds many treats for the new owner, beyond the fully adjustable leather bucket seats, the pedals are also fully adjustable for taller drivers and there is a special covered cubby-hole should you require more footspace as you 'proceed'. The passenger gets a footrest too, as well as a set of stopwatches and Le Mans racing screens. The dials have pronounced bevelled glass and brass rims, the cockpit uprights are drilled and punched wherever possible to minimise weight and the handbrake has been moved outside to increase internal space.
A side-mounted spare wheel is included with tools to be found in further storage bins under the bonnet. Starting on the button, the driving experience is reported to be brisk with manoeuvring taking place with little bother.
There is only one Ian Pitney Special, and this is it.
Next lotLot 296 - 1977 Ferrari 512 BB
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