No reserve, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. B53CW
Lot 227
No reserve, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Drophead Coupé
Chassis no. B53CW
€ 90,000 - 130,000
US$ 110,000 - 160,000

Lot Details
No reserve, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. B53CW No reserve, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. B53CW No reserve, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. B53CW No reserve, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. B53CW No reserve, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. B53CW No reserve, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. B53CW No reserve, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. B53CW No reserve, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. B53CW No reserve, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. B53CW No reserve, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. B53CW No reserve, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. B53CW No reserve, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. B53CW No reserve, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Drophead Coupé  Chassis no. B53CW
No reserve, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Drophead Coupé
Coachwork by James Young

Chassis no. B53CW
Si le rachat de Bentley par Rolls-Royce en 1931 mit un terme à l'indépendance de la première, il eut le mérite d'assurer la survie du nom de Bentley. Lancée en 1933, la première des « Derby Bentley » comme on allait les nommer, entretint la connotation sportive de la marque, quoique dans un style plus raffiné qu'auparavant. W. O. Bentley lui-même reconnut que le type 3 ½-Litre fut le plus raffiné jamais produit sous son nom. Sur la base de la Rolls-Royce 20/25hp contemporaine, la Bentley 3 ½-Litre fut légèrement raccourcie sur empattement et munie d'une version poussée (à 115 ch), à deux carburateurs SU, du six-cylindres à culbuteurs de la première. Ajoutez à cet avantage une boîte à quatre rapports tous synchronisés et des freins assistés et vous obtenez un véhicule offrant à son conducteur sans effort particulier de sa part des performances de voiture de sport dans un silence quasi absolu. « The Silent Sports Car » comme la voiture fut surnommée eut peu de rivales dans la famille des grandes routières confortables capables de combiner le raffinement traditionnel des Rolls-Royce aux performances et au comportement dynamique des Bentley.

La Derby Bentley fut naturellement une automobile habillée sur mesure et, en raison de son caractère sportif, elle reçut presque toujours une carrosserie de conduite intérieure courte ou de cabriolet, les modèles d'usine étant l'œuvre de Park Ward. Sur les 2 442 exemplaires produits (comprenant les modèles 4 ½-Litre ultérieurs) près de 50 pour cent furent carrossés par Park Ward. La voiture présentée ici possède pourtant une élégante caisse de cabriolet due à James Young. Parmi la poignée de carrossiers encore actifs après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, la firme de Bromley avait habillé sa première automobile en 1908 en se mettant au service de plusieurs marques de qualité pendant les années 1920 et 1930 avant d'être rachetée par Jack Barclay en 1937.

Le châssis n° B53CW fut livré le 7 février 1935 au garage Pass and Joyce situé Hanover Square à Londres W1 pour servir de véhicule de démonstration. La voiture équipée à l'origine du moteur n° E5BX fut immatriculée « AHP 1 ». Après sept mois aux mains de Pass and Joyce, la Bentley fut vendue le 6 septembre 1935 à M. John R. Gee. Actuellement dans la Collection Marbella, la voiture a été totalement restaurée - y compris les boiseries intérieures et la sellerie de cuir beige. Elle se présente dans un état exceptionnel et roule dans un silence presque absolu tel qu'on l'espère d'un si bel exemplaire de « The Silent Sports Car ».
Sans prix de réserve



Although Rolls-Royce's acquisition of Bentley Motors in 1931 robbed the latter of its independence, it did at least ensure the survival of the Bentley name. Launched in 1933, the first of the 'Derby Bentleys', as they would come to be known, continued the marque's sporting associations but in a manner even more refined than before. Even W O Bentley himself acknowledged that the 3½-Litre model was the finest ever to bear his name. Based on the contemporary Rolls-Royce 20/25hp, the 3½-Litre Bentley was slightly shorter in the wheelbase and employed a tuned (115bhp) twin-SU-carburettor version of the former's overhead-valve six. Add to this already remarkable package an all-synchromesh four-speed gearbox and servo assisted brakes, and the result was a vehicle offering the driver effortless sportscar performance in almost absolute silence. 'The Silent Sports Car', as it was swiftly dubbed, had few peers as a tireless long-distance tourer, combining as it did traditional Rolls-Royce refinement with Bentley performance and handling.
The Derby Bentley was, of course, an exclusively coachbuilt automobile and as befitted its sporting nature was almost always fitted with owner-driver saloon or drophead coupé coachwork, the 'standard' designs being the work of Park Ward. Of the 2,442 examples manufactured (including the subsequent 4¼-Litre model) almost 50% were bodied by Park Ward. That offered here though, boasts handsome, drophead coupé coachwork by James Young. One of the handful of British coachbuilding firms still active after WW2, the Bromley-based carriage-maker had bodied its first automobile in 1908, affiliating itself with a succession of quality marques throughout the 1920s and 1930s before being acquired by Jack Barclay in 1937.
Chassis number 'B53CW' was delivered on 7th February 1935 to the Pass and Joyce dealership in Hanover Square, London W1 for use as a demonstrator. The car was originally fitted with engine number 'E5BX' and first registered 'AHP 1'. After seven months with Pass and Joyce, the Bentley was sold on 6th September 1935 to a Mr John R Gee. Currently forming part of the Marbella Collection, the car has been fully restored – including the interior woodwork and beige leather upholstery – and is presented in 1st class condition, running in near absolute silence as one would expect from such a fine example of 'The Silent Sports Car'.
No reserve
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