1937 Bentley Petersen 3½-Litre Torpedo Roadster  Chassis no. B62KT Engine no. D4BW

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Lot 359
1937 Bentley Petersen 3½-Litre Torpedo Roadster
Registration no. DYV 843 (see text) Chassis no. B62KT Engine no. D4BW

Sold for £ 158,300 (US$ 210,837) inc. premium
1937 Bentley Petersen 3½-Litre Torpedo Roadster
Coachwork by Petersen Engineering

Registration no. DYV 843 (see text)
Chassis no. B62KT
Engine no. D4BW

Footnotes

  • The stunning Derby Bentley-based 'special' offered here is the product of the Devon-based Petersen Engineering, a firm that has built up an unrivalled reputation for its work in rebuilding and restoring Bentley motor cars. Over the past 25 years the company has built nearly 60 'Petersen Specials' - classic re-creations constructed using period parts and coachwork of authentic 1920s patterns and dimensions. Thus the Petersen cars enable enthusiasts to enjoy the 'Vintage Bentley' experience with the additional benefits of more modern technology and improved materials.

    Although Rolls-Royce's acquisition of Bentley Motors in 1931 had robbed the latter of its independence, it did at least ensure the survival of the Bentley name. Launched in 1933, the first of what would become known as the 'Derby' Bentleys 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 20/25, the 3½-Litre Bentley was slightly shorter in the wheelbase at 10' 6" and employed a tuned (115bhp), twin-SU-carburettor version of the former's 3,669cc overhead-valve six-cylinder engine. 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 high performance in almost absolute silence. 'The Silent Sports Car', as it was quickly dubbed, had few peers as a tireless long-distance tourer, combining as it did traditional Rolls-Royce refinement with Bentley performance and handling.

    By the end of the 1930s the 'Derby' Bentley 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.

    The Derby Bentley was, of course, an exclusively coachbuilt automobile. Of the 2,442 manufactured, almost 50 percent were bodied by Park Ward in a limited number of styles and this 4¼-Litre model was originally bodied by them as a four-door, four-light saloon. It is not known when the current 3½-Litre engine was fitted. 'B62KT' was first owned by Major Alfred Ernest Allnatt of Frensham Estates. A successful businessman and philanthropist, he at various times owned the intense yellow 'Allnatt Diamond'; Peter Paul Rubens' painting 'The Adoration of the Magi', which he later donated to King's College, Cambridge; and the Gold Cup-winning racehorse, 'Ujiji'.

    In 1947 the Bentley passed to the second owner, motor dealer J C Alexander and then to the third: David Curtis of Tye Green, Elsenham, Essex. Mr Curtis kept the car until 1991 when it passed to Brian Woodford of Chalmington Manor, Dorset. It was Mr Woodford that commissioned the roadster conversion from Bob Petersen Engineering, which was completed to their customary high standard. The car is believed to be the only one of its type, having been built to special order. Petersen's modifications included fitting 19" wheels, which have the effect of raising the overall gearing, and a Laycock overdrive for even more relaxed cruising.

    In 2008 the Bentley passed to its next owner, John Farnham, who was a director of Everyman Motor Racing Ltd, the company that ran the Mallory Park and Prestwood Hall circuits. The current vendor purchased the vehicle from The Real Car Company in 2011. Currently registered in Monaco, it benefits from extensive servicing and the installation of a new hood by GB Classic Cars of Dönni-Switzerland, there being invoices on file totalling CHF30,500. Other accompanying documentation consists of copy chassis cards, a quantity of expired MoT certificates for the period 1997-2011, Monaco certificate of title and a copy of an old UK V5 document for the registration mark 'DYV 843'. A rare opportunity to acquire a unique Vintage-style Derby Bentley converted by the acknowledged leaders in the field.
Contacts
1937 Bentley Petersen 3½-Litre Torpedo Roadster  Chassis no. B62KT Engine no. D4BW
1937 Bentley Petersen 3½-Litre Torpedo Roadster  Chassis no. B62KT Engine no. D4BW
1937 Bentley Petersen 3½-Litre Torpedo Roadster  Chassis no. B62KT Engine no. D4BW
1937 Bentley Petersen 3½-Litre Torpedo Roadster  Chassis no. B62KT Engine no. D4BW
1937 Bentley Petersen 3½-Litre Torpedo Roadster  Chassis no. B62KT Engine no. D4BW
1937 Bentley Petersen 3½-Litre Torpedo Roadster  Chassis no. B62KT Engine no. D4BW
1937 Bentley Petersen 3½-Litre Torpedo Roadster  Chassis no. B62KT Engine no. D4BW
1937 Bentley Petersen 3½-Litre Torpedo Roadster  Chassis no. B62KT Engine no. D4BW
1937 Bentley Petersen 3½-Litre Torpedo Roadster  Chassis no. B62KT Engine no. D4BW
1937 Bentley Petersen 3½-Litre Torpedo Roadster  Chassis no. B62KT Engine no. D4BW
1937 Bentley Petersen 3½-Litre Torpedo Roadster  Chassis no. B62KT Engine no. D4BW
1937 Bentley Petersen 3½-Litre Torpedo Roadster  Chassis no. B62KT Engine no. D4BW
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