<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB

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Lot 56Ω
1937 Bentley 4¼ LITER SPORTS SALOON

US$ 150,000 - 180,000
£ 120,000 - 140,000
Amended
1937 Bentley 4¼ LITER SPORTS SALOON
Coachwork by J. Gurney Nutting Ltd.

Chassis no. B119KU
Engine no. L2BB

4,235cc OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
2 SU Carburetors
Est. 125bhp at 3800rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Beam front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Original London Motor Show Car
*Advanced styling from esteemed coachbuilder
*Offered with copies of factory build sheets
*Usable tour car


THE BENTLEY 4¼ LITER

The 4¼ liter Bentley was introduced in 1936, and as the Rolls Royce Foundation has noted, was an immediate commercial success. Designated the "K" series, the new chassis was built in two consecutive runs, the "KT" and KU", the Derby works producing one hundred of each, with the KTs being numbered evenly and the KUs being assigned odd numbers. The new engine was introduced as a bored-out version of Bentley's original 3.6-liter motor. The K chassis offered a number of interesting technological changes over their predecessors, although some enthusiasts remained a bit skeptical of items such as the new "de-turbulated" cylinder head design. This alteration involved changing the form of the combustion chamber. As one marque expert explains, "The earlier cylinder heads' combustion chamber was smaller at the entrance with a kind of edge or lip on the fire face of the head—kind of bulb-shaped. It was to create turbulence of fuel/air mixture upon intake. This lip at the leading edge partially sealed off the chamber in an attempt to slow fuel flow into the cylinder and enable all of the fuel to ignite." Bentley engineers found if they reduced the "swirl" of the incoming fuel/air mixture, or "de-turbulated" it by removing that lip edge and making it straight- sided, it helped the cylinder fill and ignite more effectively."

However, it also effectively reduced the compression ratio. Whether that was reflected in the engine's performance is arguable, but it is said that those who raced Bentleys - and there were many – preferred the "turbulated" combustion chamber. The larger engine gave these K Bentleys a noticeably high top speed, now approaching 100 mph, with a few streamlined racing examples capable of considerably more. The 4 ¼-liter also utilized an improved oil scraper ring design, new white-metal bearings, larger SU side-draft carburetors and larger valves. The generator was now air-cooled for improved life, there was a new Borg and Beck single-plate clutch, and, adds the Foundation's commentary, the front end was redesigned to reduce axle tramp under hard braking. All in all, the new 4 ¼ was "a true grand touring machine", and the chassis were clothed in bespoke coachwork from any number of prestigious shops. A total of 1234 chassis of 4 ¼- liter specification were produced, with later-series chassis being fitted with overdrive transmissions. Our final quote from the Rolls Royce Foundation says it all: "Many think (the 4 ¼-liter) was the best car Rolls-Royce or Bentley ever built."

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This extremely attractive sports sedan shows how advanced A.F. McNeil and the designers at Gurney Nutting were, exemplifying style that would become commonplace fashion after the war, it is arguably years ahead of its time. It should come as no surprise that this modernity was something that would be exhibited and sure enough, the car was to be part of Gurney Nutting's Motor (Auto) Show Stand in London in 1937.

The description from periodicals as listed in the known reference work on the model, Michael Ellman-Brown's "The Silent Sports Car 1931-41", lists "Four Door Four Light Saloon: finished graphite, upholstered red leather, fillets, etc. ebony with pewter inlay, front seats adjustable for rake, entrance lights to rear doors, electric rear blind, fitted leather suit cases, wheel discs, cover to spare wheel, sliding sunshine roof."

As new, the car was commissioned by London dealer's the Car Mart, who then sold it to Sir Hanson Rowbotham in May 1938, shortly after that it was registered in London with the number 'EXX 99' which it has retained to this day. Sir Hanson Rowbotham was extremely wealthy, but it is perhaps his legacy which greatly supported Birmingham University in the UK that he is best known for today.

In the previous ownership the Bentley received some cosmetic attention with its chrome being re-plated, wooden interior trim re-veneered, and its steering box completely rebuilt. Over the course of its life it has been refurbished in a silver hue which is probably lighter than it wore new, but the basic concept of grey and red interior remains. In the last few years it passed to the current custodian, where it has shared a stable with a number of important pre-war marques that are actively used and enjoyed.

With excellent support from well-established clubs for the marque, restorers who know these cars and a solid availability of parts, these cars are straightforward to maintain as well as being a joy to drive and tour.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the title for this car is in transit.
Contacts
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
<b>1937 Bentley 4&#188; LITER SPORTS SALOON</b><br />Chassis no. B119KU<br />Engine no. L2BB
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