1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA

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Lot 471
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon
Coachwork by Thrupp & Maberly Registration no. FOM 666 Chassis no. B214 GA

Sold for £ 59,740 (US$ 74,611) inc. premium
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon
Coachwork by Thrupp & Maberly

Registration no. FOM 666
Chassis no. B214 GA
*First owned by Carl Louis Breeden of Wilmot-Breeden
*One of 161 Thrupp & Maberly saloons on the 4¼-Litre chassis
*Present ownership since 2000
*Re-commissioned for sale

Footnotes

  • 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, introduced towards the beginning of that decade following the firm's take-over by Rolls-Royce, 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. The latter's adoption had been prompted by the construction of modern highways in Continental Europe, enabling cars to travel at sustained high speeds.

    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 gear-change and servo-assisted brakes.

    As ever, bespoke coachwork was the order of the day, owner-driver saloon and drophead coupé bodies, mostly by Park Ward, being the norm. Chassis number 'B214GA', though, was delivered to Thrupp and Maberly. Foremost among the three dozen or so other coachbuilders responsible for bodying the Derby Bentleys, the respected London-based firm of Thrupp & Maberly was noted for a succession of coachbuilding innovations during the 1920s and 1930s. Thrupp & Maberly could trace its origins back to the 18th Century and was responsible for some of the earliest motor car bodies built in England. It became part of the Rootes Group in 1925 but continued to build bodies for Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and Humber chassis; of their 214 Derby Bentley bodies, 161 were of the saloon type. The firm also famously bodied Sir Henry Segrave's land speed record contender, 'Golden Arrow', in 1929.

    'B214GA' was first owned by Carl Louis Breeden, founder of the automotive components manufacturer, Wilmot-Breeden, and originally registered 'CLB 521'. The Bentley was in good order when purchased by the current vendor in 2000; however, the colour was not to the owner's taste and so the existing paint was stripped off, any corrosion repaired, and the car re-sprayed Oxford Blue, these works being carried out by Bourne Brothers of Arlesey, Bedfordshire. The car is described by the vendor as in generally very good condition, with 'average' interior, and will have been re-commissioned prior to the sale.

    Possessing coachwork by one of the most exceptional coachbuilders, 'B214GA' remains a rare and significant representative of one of most exclusive and desirable of all Post-Vintage British Thoroughbreds: The Derby Bentley.
Contacts
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon  Chassis no. B214 GA
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