1937 Bentley 4 1/4-Litre All Weather Tourer Coachwork by Thrupp & Maberly Chassis no. B170KT Engine no. W9BP
By the end of the 1930s the Derby Bentley, introduced towards the beginning of that decade following the firms take-over by Rolls-Royce, had undergone a number of significant developments, not the least of which was an increase in bore size in 1936 that upped the capacity to 4,257cc, a move that coincided with the adoption of superior Halls Metal bearings. This new engine was shared with the equivalent Rolls-Royce - the 25/30hp - and as had been the case with the preceding 3½-Litre model, enjoyed a superior specification in Bentley form, boasting twin SU carburettors, raised compression ratio and a more sporting camshaft. Thus the new 4¼-Litre model offered more power than before while retaining the well-proven chassis with its faultless gear-change and servo-assisted brakes. It was the construction of modern highways in Continental Europe, enabling cars to travel at sustained high speeds, that had prompted the introduction of the Halls Metal bearings and would lead eventually to the adoption of on an overdrive gearbox and improved lubrication system on Bentleys peerless Grand Routier, improvements which coincided with the introduction of the M-series cars in 1939. The Derby Bentley was, of course, an exclusively coachbuilt automobile. Of the 2,442 manufactured, almost 50 percent were bodied by Park Ward in a limited number of styles. This particluar example though, wears all weather tourer coachwork by the respected London-based firm of Thrupp & Maberly, a concern noted for a succession of coachbuilding innovations during the 1920s and 1930s. Chassis number B170KT was delivered new October 1937 to its first owner Viscount Bridport and originally UK registered ELD 660. Records suggest only three examples were bodied with this very handsome four-door pillarless all weather tourer coachwork. Exported to the US, date unknown, the car was offered for sale by order of the New York State Supreme Court from the assets and holdings of an undisclosed Long Island New York estate. The previous owner purchased the car from Gullwing Motor Cars Inc and Chicago Classic Cars of Long Island, New York in March 2008. Upon repatriation to the UK last year, the car was cosmetically restored and purchased by the vendor at auction in June 2008. Finished in pale green with similar trim and matching hood and hood bag, the car is offered with Customs & Excise 389 document, current MoT and old US title enabling the purchaser to UK register the vehicle, possibly on its original UK registration number ELD 660.