1937 Bentley Derby
Lot 333
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Drophead Coupé Chassis no. B197HM Engine no. W2BN
Sold for £57,500 (US$ 94,311) inc. premium

Lot Details
1937 Bentley Derby 1937 Bentley Derby 1937 Bentley Derby 1937 Bentley Derby 1937 Bentley Derby
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Drophead Coupé
Coachwork by Vanden Plas

Registration no. DXE 115
Chassis no. B197HM
Engine no. W2BN

Footnotes

  • By the end of the 1930s the 'Derby' Bentley, introduced towards the beginning of that decade following the firm's 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 Hall's 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 gearchange and servo-assisted brakes.
    With its 4¼-Litre engine and versatile drophead coupé body by Vanden Plas, 'B197HM' is a particularly fine example of a late Derby Bentley. London-based coachbuilder Vanden Plas had forged its not inconsiderable reputation by a most fortuitous alliance with Bentley, bodying some 700-or-so of the latter's chassis during the 1920s, including the Le Mans team cars. The firm survived Bentley's demise and resurrection under Rolls-Royce ownership, diversifying into other makes and resuming the relationship with its old partner to produce some of the most sublime designs on the Derby Bentley chassis.
    This car was purchased by the previous owner in 1956 and used up to 1960 before being placed in storage suffering from worn hub splines. It is understood that some superficial restoration was attempted during its sojourn off the road. The current owner purchased the Bentley ten years ago, since when the body timbers have been treated but nothing else done by way of refurbishment. Not run for many years, the engine nevertheless does turn over. Offered with old-style logbook and sold strictly as viewed, 'DXE 115' represents an exciting opportunity to acquire a beautiful but neglected soft-top Derby Bentley, ripe for sympathetic restoration.
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