Lot 145 - 1937 Bentley 4¼ litre Saloon by Park Ward
|Odometer reading||77,199 miles|
|Result||Sold - £39,200|
Bentley motorcars have always been built to be driven. That is as true today as it was in 1919 when W. O. Bentley designed the first vintage Bentley. The early history was written on the racetracks with the spirit of the Bentley Boys. They celebrated five magnificent Le Mans victories in the 1920's and in 2003, enjoyed a return to those glory years with a sixth win. When Rolls-Royce bought Bentley Motors, they shut down production of the 8 and 4½ litre. Then they had to decide what to do with the Bentley name as they couldn't afford to alienate their customer base and not build a new Bentley. The question was what sort of car to build; after several false starts, the Experimental Department developed a prototype car based on an earlier 18hp experimental chassis called the 'Peregrine' and a suitably tweaked 20/25hp engine; this combination proved to be a winner.
W.O. Bentley drove one of the prototype cars extensively on the Continent and wrote back to the Derby factory giving the car overall praise. Launched in 1933, the first of what would become known as the 'Derby Bentleys' continued the marque's sporting associations. The 'Silent Sportscar', as it was quickly dubbed, had few peers and as a tireless long-distance tourer, it combined traditional Rolls-Royce refinement with Bentley performance and handling. Based on the contemporary Rolls-Royce 20/25, the 3½ litre Bentley was slightly shorter in the wheelbase and employed a tuned, twin SU-carburettor equipped version of the former's 3669cc overhead valve six; an increase in bore size upped the capacity to 4257cc in 1936. The 4¼ litre model offered more power while retaining the well-proven chassis and servo-assisted brakes.
This Park Ward coachbuilt Bentley 4¼ litre Saloon, chassis number B63KU, is presented in black over cream and boasts a deep brown contrasting leather. Purchased by the vendor’s father in 1969 from David Scott-Moncrieff in Leek with 48,000 miles on the odometer, it then passed to our vendor who drove it regularly until 1996 and 78,000 miles when the con-rod came adrift (it was described by the garage as ‘a leg out of bed’). The garage that was initially commissioned to repair did nothing for a couple of years due to the proprietor’s ill health and when our vendor finally collected it the same fault happened once again. It was then taken to a different Rolls and Bentley specialist who took the engine apart but due to workload did nothing else and there it remained for the next 22 years; partially, as the vendor explains, his fault due to lack of space having it back.
Finally giving up on his dream of putting this saloon back on the road and losing his storage at the garage, the time has come for our Bentley drivers club member to pass the car over to a new custodian. The paint and body will require attention as will the engine of course, but this is a Park Ward Bentley 4¼, a car synonymous with British motoring heritage and as a complete example will make a very desirable project indeed. The history file is somewhat sparse due to the car sitting under dust for two decades but includes a few invoices for work carried out prior to engine failure together with old MoT’s, a V5C registration document and original Handbook. All parts are supplied with the car and inspections are welcome.
Guide Pride £23,000 -£30,000
Previous lotLot 144 - 1993 Renault 19 16V Phase II
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