1929 Bentley 4 ½ litre Four Seat Tourer Coachwork by Cadogan Motors (1928) Ltd Registration no. SR 7702 Chassis no. DS 3570 Engine no. DS 3568
Bentleys domination at Le Mans from 1924 to 1930 is indeed the stuff of legends, the sturdy reliability and high speed endurance capabilities of the British Racing Green Team Cars being a far cry from the humble beginnings in a mews garage off Baker Street in 1919 when the first 3-litre car was fired up. No-one recognised the value of motor racing achievements more than W.O. Bentley and the Herculean efforts of such giants as Woolf Barnato, Jack Dunfee, Tim Birkin and Sammy Davis consistently hurling the Cricklewood sports cars to victory undoubtedly created instant sales demand for the production models.
The first 4 ½ litre engine, complementing the 3 litre and 6 ½ litre models, appeared in the 1927 Le Mans practice car and probably went on to be fitted in the first production 4 ½ litre chassis at Le Mans that year, the car campaigned by Callingham and Clement and affectionately known as Old Mother Gun. The 4 ½ litre model was catalogued from 1927 to 1930, attracting a clientele who sought fast and comfortable motoring and wishing to emulate on occasion their racing heroes.
Factory records confirm that Chassis no. DS 3570 was completed in August 1929 and the car delivered to its first owner, D B C Fairweather of Angus, Scotland, in July 1930, the factory five year guarantee records quoting an expiry date of 16th July 1935. This car and the immediately preceding chassis no. DS 3569 were despatched to Cadogan Motors (1928) Ltd in Bishops Road, Fulham, a company headed by S R Moss-Vernon which was fast gaining a reputation for more sporting coachwork on such distinguished marques as Invicta, OM, Packard and indeed Bentley. Their coachwork was built to uncompromisingly high standards, the costs involved perhaps contributing to their demise in around 1930. The car passed through various ownerships in the 1930s, with two owners being recorded as incurring front end accident damage, and in 1938 the car is recorded as having been rebuilt by H M Bentley. W Wall acquired the car in 1949, reporting then that DS 3570 had yet another complete overhaul, and he is known to have campaigned this Bentley at the B.D.C. Silverstone Meeting in 1950. The next recorded owner in 1953 was a J Edmondson. The vendor acquired the car in the 1950s from his solicitor in Manchester who had been using the car as everyday transport. During the present ownership the car has seen extensive use making frequent trips to Brittany and Normandy and one memorable trip to Vienna. During fifty years or so of motoring DS 3570 has proved a trusty steed and today, although used only infrequently, it starts readily and runs sweetly.
It is refreshing to see an open Bentley with elegant coachwork other than the ubiquitous Vanden Plas examples and this car is presented in smoke blue livery with grey fabric-covered coachwork. Driving equipment includes Lucas headlamps, CAV centre-mounted driving lamp, twin trumpet horns, side-mounted spare wheel and quick-release filler caps to both radiator and rear-mounted fuel tank. The interior is very tidily upholstered in red leather with red carpets and passenger comforts are afforded by a fold-flat windscreen with aero screens. The car sits correctly on 21 inch wheels and fuel supply is provided by twin vertical SU carburettors. Following a period of little use in recent years the usual careful recommissioning is recommended before using this car to its undoubted exciting potential.
This matching chassis/engine number car is arguably one of the most elegant and practical vintage Bentley sports cars extant, enjoying outstanding originality in all major respects and with a remarkable history of long ownership. It is offered with a Swansea V5 registration document.