1925 Bentley 3-Litre 'Blue Label' Tourer  Chassis no. 930 Engine no. 914
Lot 345
1925 Bentley 3-Litre 'Blue Label' Tourer
Coachwork by Gurney Nutting Registration no. CR 9914 Chassis no. 930 Engine no. 914
£220,000 - 280,000
US$ 360,000 - 450,000

Lot Details
1925 Bentley 3-Litre 'Blue Label' Tourer  Chassis no. 930 Engine no. 914 1925 Bentley 3-Litre 'Blue Label' Tourer  Chassis no. 930 Engine no. 914 1925 Bentley 3-Litre 'Blue Label' Tourer  Chassis no. 930 Engine no. 914 1925 Bentley 3-Litre 'Blue Label' Tourer  Chassis no. 930 Engine no. 914 1925 Bentley 3-Litre 'Blue Label' Tourer  Chassis no. 930 Engine no. 914 1925 Bentley 3-Litre 'Blue Label' Tourer  Chassis no. 930 Engine no. 914 1925 Bentley 3-Litre 'Blue Label' Tourer  Chassis no. 930 Engine no. 914 1925 Bentley 3-Litre 'Blue Label' Tourer  Chassis no. 930 Engine no. 914 1925 Bentley 3-Litre 'Blue Label' Tourer  Chassis no. 930 Engine no. 914 1925 Bentley 3-Litre 'Blue Label' Tourer  Chassis no. 930 Engine no. 914
1925 Bentley 3-Litre 'Blue Label' Tourer
Coachwork by Gurney Nutting

Registration no. CR 9914
Chassis no. 930
Engine no. 914

Footnotes

  • With characteristic humility 'W O' was constantly amazed by the enthusiasm of later generations for the products of Bentley Motors Limited, and it is testimony to the soundness of his engineering design skills that so many of his products have survived. From the humblest of beginnings in a mews garage off Baker Street, London in 1919 the Bentley rapidly achieved fame as an exciting fast touring car, well able to compete with the best of European and American sports cars in the tough world of motor sport in the 1920s. Bentley's domination at Le Mans in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930 is legendary, and one can only admire the Herculean efforts of such giants as Woolf Barnato, Jack Dunfee, Tim Birkin and Sammy Davis, consistently wrestling the British Racing Green sports cars to victory.

    W O Bentley proudly unveiled the new 3-litre car bearing his name on Stand 126 at the 1919 Olympia Motor Exhibition, the prototype engine having fired up for the first time just a few weeks earlier. Bentley's four-cylinder 'fixed head' engine incorporated a single overhead camshaft, four-valves per cylinder and a bore/stroke of 80x149mm. Twin ML magnetos provided the ignition and power was transmitted via a four-speed gearbox with right-hand change. The pressed-steel chassis started off with a wheelbase of 9' 9½" (the 'short standard') then adopted dimensions of 10' 10" ('standard long') in 1923, the shorter frame being reserved for the TT Replica and subsequent Speed Model. Rear wheel brakes only were employed up to 1924 when four-wheel Perrot-type brakes were introduced.In only mildly developed form, this was the model that was to become a legend in motor racing history and which, with its leather-strapped bonnet, classical radiator design and British Racing Green livery, has become the archetypal Vintage sports car.

    This particular car is something of a rarity in Bentley circles, having retained its original chassis, engine and body. Michael Hay's authoritative work, Bentley, The Vintage Years, records the fact that number '930' was completed in February 1925 on the 10' 10" wheelbase 'long standard' chassis with engine number '914' and four-seat coachwork by Gurney Nutting. Founded in Croydon, Surrey in 1919, the latter had been associated with quality marques - Bentley in particular - from its earliest days. Gurney Nutting had bodied its first Bentley before moving to London's fashionable Chelsea district in 1924, and within a few years was established as the Cricklewood firm's foremost supplier of bodies after Vanden Plas. Gurney Nutting's work had a sporting flavour from the outset and succeeded in attracting the attention of society's upper echelons, the Prince of Wales and Duke of York were clients, and the firm gained its Royal Warrant in the early 1930s.

    Registered 'CR 9914' and first owned by one J B M McMeiken, the Bentley has survived for 87 years in constant use but has always been well maintained and cared for. Its Gurney Nutting body, alloy bonnet, correct nickel-plated radiator shell and brightwork, era-correct British Racing Green paintwork, dual side-mount spares, tan leather interior, full tonneau cover, Auster rear screen and walnut fascia, the latter displaying original functioning gauges by Smiths, Cambridge and AT, could not be recreated in any restoration. The only modifications are twin SU carburettors and additional electric cooling fans. One for the connoisseur, this outstandingly original Bentley 3-Litre is offered with handbook, sundry invoices and V5C registration document.
Auction information

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combination
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    Bonhams
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