1938 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre

1938 Bentley 4 1/4 Litre

Year :  1938
Make :  Bentley
Model :  4 1/4 Litre
Coachbuilder :  Gurney Nutting
Body Type :  Sedanca Coupe
Colour :  Pale Blue
Trim :  Beige Leather

History :  During the late 1920’s and early 1930’s Bentley ran into grave financial trouble and by 1931 Rolls-Royce had stepped in and bought the assets and goodwill of the defunct company and formed a new one, Bentley Motors (1931) Ltd. Rolls-Royce had considered the Bentley marque to be a growing threat to their future success, but following their purchase decided to continue the Bentley name, albeit under their own stewardship, taking the company in an entirely new direction with the creation of the “Silent Sports Car” or Derby Bentley. In 1933 the new Bentley 3 ½ Litre model was released and was an instant success. The combination of effortless power and style met with almost universal praise. It was powered by a developed twin carburettor version of Rolls-Royces own 20/25 model and was installed in a low 126 inch wheelbase chassis that basically remained unaltered until the cessation of production in 1939 due to the outbreak of hostilities. Synchromesh was present on third and fourth gears and the Derby’s were fitted with a cross flow cylinder head and superb servo assisted brakes, encapsulating all of the perfection of Rolls-Royce engineering in this small sporting Bentley. Fitting of individual coachwork by approved body builders continued in true Rolls-Royce fashion giving potential buyers a great deal of choice in the look of their new motor car. 1936 saw further improvements with the introduction of the 4 ¼ Litre model when production of the 3 ½ Litre unit ceased. Following the cessation of the First World War J. Gurney Nutting founded the firm which quickly became one of Britain’s top coachbuilders. In 1923 the factory in Croydon was destroyed by fire and the firm moved to new premises in Elystan Street in Chelsea. The firm’s reputation for quality and style grew quickly, with orders being placed by a number of members of the British Royal Family, including the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) the Duke of York (later King George VI and the Duke of Kent. Gurney Nutting were subsequently granted a Royal Warrant by the Prince of Wales for the years 1931 to 1935. The work of chief designer A.F. McNeill is widely recognised as some of the finest coachwork fitted to a Rolls-Royce and Bentley chassis. Gurney Nutting were famous for their sedanca coupe designs and Chassis No B187LE is one of their most stylish offerings, believed to be one of just three cars built to this design, all of which were supplied by Jack Barclay Ltd between 1937 and 1938. It is fitted with a low boot line on raked rear quarters which is complemented by a falling waistline finished with chrome strips. Chassis B187LE was completed in November of 1938 and is thought to have originally been ordered to be shipped to Cuba. But for unknown reasons it didn’t leave British shores, instead supplied to S.H. Scribbans of Hockley in Birmingham. It was owned by the first owner until 1965 when sold to F V Chambers of Newcastle in Staffordshire. In more recent times the car was purchased in 1979 by a German family who used the car on trips around Europe, largely in Italy where they lived. In 2009 the car purchased by its most recent owner who has improved the car further, with a new interior, new hood, woodwork restoration and various mechanical works including an engine rebuild and back axle rebuild. Gurney Nutting are widely considered to be one of the best coachbuilders from the pre-war era, perhaps the very best in some people’s eyes. In our opinion Chassis No B187LE is an excellent example of the exceptionally attractive motor cars Gurney Nutting produced. It is correctly described as being very well prepared and should be seriously considered by collectors and Bentley enthusiasts alike.

Condition :  Very good condition throughout

Technical Data :  Four speed manual gearbox, 6 cylinder in-line engine, 4.25 litres displacement, 4257cc capacity. Servo-assisted brakes.

If you would like to make an enquiry about this vehicle,
please contact us phone 020 8847 5447 or email: sales@frankdale.com