During the late 1920s and early 1930s 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 3.5 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 Derbys 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 4.25 Litre model when production of the 3.5 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 firms 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 B70KT is one of their most stylish offerings. It is believed to be one of just four cars built to this design, all of which were believed to have been supplied by Jack Barclay Ltd between 1937 and 1938, fitted with a low boot line on raked rear quarters which is complemented by a falling waistline finished with chrome strips.
Chassis No B70KT was originally completed in July of 1937 and was supplied by Jack Barclay Ltd to its first owner, a Mr. H.B. Mollins. There is a letter in the history file from the son of Mollins who remembers the car and gives an account of its early years. The family lived in Belgravia London where the car was to be principally for the use of Mollins wife. During the War years the family evacuated to Cornwall and the car travelled with them. The car was kept until the 1950s when it was sold to a new owner in the USA. It remained in the USA until 2011 when it returned to Britain. It was supplied by Frank Dale & Stepsons the following year to a customer in the UK who decided to restore the car to its former glory. The works began with a full mechanical check and the necessary works ensued to make sure the car was reliable and drove beautifully. The ash frame was renewed and the coachwork was restored and then re-painted in a very attractive shade of dark blue. A new hood was fitted in dark blue everflex and a new interior was trimmed in tan leather. The wire wheels were restored and the original rear bumpers were re-fitted to the car to complete the job. The expenditure in recent years to B70KT has been in the region of approximately two hundred thousand pounds. The finished car is extremely handsome and drives beautifully. It is complete with a restored small tool set concealed in the boot, handbook and an interesting history file.
Four speed manual gearbox, 6 cylinder in-line engine, 4.25 litres displacement, 4257cc capacity. Servo-assisted brakes.