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 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. 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 B187LE was originally completed in late 1938, finished in dark blue with a grey leather interior. It was supplied by Jack Barclay Ltd in December of 1938 to its first owner, Mr Stuart H Scribbans of the Purity Bread Company in Birmingham. It was owned by Mr Scribbins until 1965 when it was sold to Mr F V Chalmers of Staffordshire. Later in life the car found its way to Continental Europe where it was restored. It was acquired by Frank Dale & Stepsons from a collection in Germany in recent times and has subsequently been prepared to showroom condition. The car was mechanically reviewed and prepared, re-wired and re-painted in black to match the existing mohair hood. The interior was in good condition but new carpets were trimmed and fitted to complete this very stylish cars appearance. It is complete with an original handbook and a full complement of small tools which are housed in the trunk. Gurney Nutting are rightly considered to be one of the finest coachbuilders of the pre-war era and B187LE is an excellent example of their craft, presented in very good condition throughout and ready to enjoy.
Very good condition throughout
Four speed manual gearbox, 6 cylinder in-line engine, 4.25 litres displacement, 4257cc capacity. Servo-assisted brakes.