1934 Bentley 3½-Litre All-weather Tourer  Chassis no. B15BL Engine no. A6B2

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Lot 534
1934 Bentley 3½-Litre All-weather Tourer
Registration no. 354 YUA Chassis no. B15BL Engine no. A6B2

£ 90,000 - 110,000
US$ 110,000 - 130,000
1934 Bentley 3½-Litre All-weather Tourer
Registration no. 354 YUA
Chassis no. B15BL
Engine no. A6B2

Footnotes

  • 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, not to mention a remarkable top speed of close to 100mph, 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 in a limited number of styles. Most of the other great British coachbuilding firms offered designs, many of them unique, on the Derby Bentley chassis and 'B15BL' wears handsome two-door sports saloon coachwork by London-based H J Mulliner, a company known for an elegant lightness of line in their creations, which is apparent in this case. Founded in 1900, H J Mulliner was involved with makes of distinction from its earliest days, bodying an early Silver Ghost chassis for C S Rolls before going onto establish itself in the front rank of British coachbuilders by the start of the 1920s.
    'B15BL' is a fairly early example of the 3½-Litre, dating from the first year of production, and was ordered by a Mr R Teacher, who seems to have been a member of the Teacher's whisky family. The chassis records appear to indicate that the car was still in his possession in the early 1960s, such long-term ownership being not at all unusual for Bentleys of the era. H J Mulliner was well-known for its convertible
    bodies and this car's graceful, four-door, all-weather tourer coachwork represents the best of all possible combinations in coachbuilding terms: extremely elegant with the top down while still providing a high level of protection in bad weather.
    At some point after Mr Teacher's ownership the car found its way to the USA, as did many another classic during the 1960s, spending many years in a private collection of high quality cars in the Midwest before being repatriated in recent years. Extensive restoration appears to have been carried out (circa 1990) and the car's current condition reflects great care in its upkeep. The coachwork has been refinished to a high standard in cream with French Blue wings, and the brightwork is in fine order. This is complemented by a well-trimmed interior in beige hide with matching carpets. The car is said to drive well, starting easily and running smoothly, and comes with current MoT/tax and Swansea V5C registration document.
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1934 Bentley 3½-Litre All-weather Tourer  Chassis no. B15BL Engine no. A6B2
1934 Bentley 3½-Litre All-weather Tourer  Chassis no. B15BL Engine no. A6B2
1934 Bentley 3½-Litre All-weather Tourer  Chassis no. B15BL Engine no. A6B2
1934 Bentley 3½-Litre All-weather Tourer  Chassis no. B15BL Engine no. A6B2
1934 Bentley 3½-Litre All-weather Tourer  Chassis no. B15BL Engine no. A6B2
1934 Bentley 3½-Litre All-weather Tourer  Chassis no. B15BL Engine no. A6B2
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