<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)

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Lot 320
From the Estate of David L. Van Schaick
1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer
Coachwork in the style of Vanden Plas

Sold
From the Estate of David L. Van Schaick
1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer
Coachwork in the style of Vanden Plas

Chassis no. PL 3496
Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)

4,398cc SOHC Inline 4-Cylinder Engine - 4 Overhead Valves Per Cylinder
110bhp at 3,500rpm
4-Speed 'D' Gearbox (see text)
Front and Rear Leaf Spring Suspension
Four-Wheel Drum Brakes with Servo Assist.

*Originally owned by A.W. Whyte of the Whyte & Mackay Whisky dynasty
*Owned by noted Bentley aficionado Van Schaick for more than 30 years
*Veteran of Bentley and other Road Tours
*Fantastic car for international motoring events


THE BENTLEY 4½-LITER

W.O. Bentley proudly debuted the new 3-liter car bearing his name on Stand 126 at the 1919 London Olympia Motor Exhibition. The prototype engine had only been fired up for the first time just a few weeks earlier. In only mildly developed form, this was the model that was to become a legend in motor racing history and which, with its leather-strapped bonnet, classical radiator design and British Racing Green livery has become the archetypal vintage sports car.

Early success in the 1922 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, when Bentleys finished second, fourth and fifth to take the Team Prize, led to the introduction of the TT Replica (later known as the Speed Model). However, by the middle of the decade the 3-Liter's competitiveness was on the wane and this, together with the fact that too many customers had been tempted to fit unsuitably heavy coachwork to the excellent 3-Liter chassis rather than accept the expense of Bentley's 6½-Liter 'Silent Six', led to the introduction of the '4½'.

The new 4½-Liter model effectively employed the chassis, transmission, brakes, and base engine of the 3-Liter, but with an increased 100x140mm bore and stroke. The 4 valves per cylinder, 5 main bearing crankshaft, and dual ignition of the 3-Liter were retained. The new model also retained that "bloody thump", as noted Bentley owner Walter Foden referred to it, a characteristic that enables one to clearly identify a 4 cylinder Bentley from many miles away. Bentley Motors wasted no time in proving the new car in competition, entering the car in the 1927 Le Mans. The original 4½-Liter car, nicknamed by the team 'Old Mother Gun' and driven by Frank Clement and Leslie Callingham, promptly set the fastest race lap of 73.41mph before being eliminated in the infamous 'White House Crash' pile-up. A 4½ subsequently won the 1928 event.

The 4½-Liter was produced for four years with all but nine of the 665 cars made being built on the 'Long Standard', 130"-wheelbase chassis. Purchasers of the 4½-Liter model were, in common with those of all vintage-period Bentleys, free to specify their preferences from a very considerable range of mechanical and electrical equipment, in addition to whatever body style and coach-builder might be required. The most iconic of course were the cars fitted with tourer bodies by Vanden Plas.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

A fabulous looking sporting vintage Bentley which encapsulates the Le Mans spirit so associated with the marque, PL 3496 was actively campaigned by noted enthusiast David L. Van Shaick for more than 30 years until his untimely passing just last summer.

As is so often the case, the Bentley when new was delivered with more formal closed coachwork. Copies of the factory records on file denote it to have worn 'British Flexible Saloon' coachwork, by one of the better-known coachbuilder for Cricklewood Bentleys, Harrison and Co. for H. M. Bentley and Partners, the company run by 'W.O.'s brother.

H.M. Bentley and Partners sold it to A.W. Whyte of Ayrshire in Scotland, Whyte being part of the famed Whyte & Mackay whisky dynasty. There it would reside at Mr. Whyte's home Tudor House in Skelmorlie, which when listed for sale in recent years was described as 'an opulent home' set overlooking the banks of the Firth of Clyde. It was registered for the road in July 1929 as "AG 4554", the AG prefix signifying that region. Skelmorlie being more than 400 miles from Cricklewood, it is perhaps not surprising that the car rarely returned to the factory for its upkeep, but occasional notes are on the factory records through to the mid-1930s.

Whether Whyte kept the car through the war is not known, he was certainly still around in 1956 as Skelmorlie Golf Club note him to have been their Club Champion that year. From marque authority Hay's newest edition of 'Bentley - The Vintage Years', it is next known to have been the property of A.P. Maggs in 1957, who perhaps acquired it straight from Whyte. A copy of the reissued logbook on file notes ownership in the U.K. in 1965 with a H. Pasco and Arthur Wells of Selby in 1966.

In approximately 1972, the car was rebodied with the very handsome Le Mans style fabric touring body it wears today. Quite possibly at the same time, its engine was replaced by another contemporary 4 1/2 liter (#FB 3307), and with the intention of making it the definitive specification for these cars, a more desirable 'D' series gearbox (#D7077, ex chassis MF 3173), arrived in the car. In all other respects the rebuild must have been from a very original basis, since, chassis, front and back axles, steering column and even hood/bonnet sides retain correct stampings confirming them to be original to the car. For unknown reasons, it wears the switch cluster of PL 3493.

By 1983 the 'WO' was acquired by noted connoisseur Frank Allocca of New Jersey. Mr. Allocca was attentively waiting the completion of the restoration of a 3 Liter, which he'd hoped to use on the North American Vintage Bentley tour's second edition, and when that was looking unlikely he promptly called Stanley Mann in the U.K. and bought PL 3496 over the phone! The car was flown over to the U.S. and has been here ever since. When in turn Allocca's 3 Liter returned to the road, the 4 1/2 was surplus to requirements, at this point David Van Schaick stepped in and acquired it from him.

Over the course of the next three decades, Mr. Van Schaick would exercise the Bentley with great regularity, his charming personality matched by the bold bravado of the Le Mans rep. as a combination to be reckoned with on any event! This included numerous editions of Bentley Club rallies, multiple Colorado Grands, etc. Throughout this time, the car was systematically maintained by noted American experts in prewar cars, such as David George of D.L. George Coachworks in Cochranville, Pennsylvania and Donald Koleman of Competition Motors in New Hampshire.

In the 45 years since its Le Mans rep. rebuild the car has gained an appropriate patina to its aesthetics that such a warhorse should have, and it is all the more appealing for it. Today, having been unused in the last 18-24 months, the car has been returned to the road and was running and driving at the time of catalog preparation, but a thorough check over might be advised before beginning its next more major event. When it does, perhaps after a long day of touring, a glass Whyte and Mackay Special whisky might be in order!

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, the title for this vehicle is in transit.
Contacts
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
<b>1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. PL 3496<br />Engine no. FB 3307 (See text)
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