1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Shooting Brake Coachwork by Jones Bros Ltd Registration no. HS 8266 Chassis no. B80DG Engine no. R7BL
'No effort has been spared to perfect the 3½-litre Bentley, and it is indeed the car for the connoisseur of fast travel. From every point of view the new car meets the modern need for a fast, lively and smooth running sports car of the highest quality, and the interest with which its coming was awaited has been equalled by the enthusiasm of its reception by those who have tried it.' Motor Sport, 1933.
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 sports car 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 Ltd. Of the 2,442 examples manufactured (including the subsequent 4¼-Litre model) almost 50% were bodied by Rolls-Royce's in-house coachbuilder.
Delivered new in May 1935 to Col Charles Julius Hirst of Renfrewshire, chassis number 'B80DG' originally carried two-door, drophead coupé coachwork by Hooper & Co. The car subsequently was re-bodied with the current timber framed and panelled shooting brake coachwork by Jones Bros of Bayswater, West London in 1937. The current owner purchased the Bentley in the USA from a gentleman who had inherited it from his grandfather, the latter having bought it from another gentleman in Canada.
We are advised that over the last few years everything mechanical has been attended to my marquee specialist Keith Pointing, while the car has also been repainted in its original Hunter Green livery and the interior re-upholstered in black leather. The restoration was only completed in 2012 and the car is described by the private vendor as in generally very good condition throughout.
Retaining its original registration number, 'HS 8266', this unique and very practical Derby Bentley comes with restoration invoices, current MoT/tax and Swansea V5 registration document. It is ready to be driven to prestigious events or used as a bespoke utility vehicle on one's sporting estate.
This vehicle is MoT exempt and does not come with a current MoT.