Bonhams : Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 237
1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon

Sold for € 1,150,000 (US$ 1,277,995) inc. premium
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley
1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon
Coachwork by Freestone & Webb

Registration no. MP1650
Chassis no. BR2353
Engine no. BR2351
6,567cc, SOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Single Smiths 50BVS Carburetor
147bhp at 3,500rpm
4-Speed 'C' Manual Transmission
Semi-Elliptic Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Mechanical Servo assisted Drum Brakes

•Known history from new, with Clare Hay report on file
•Matching numbers
•Period original images survive of the car
•Well-known as an example of the highest authenticity

Footnotes

  • This year, the Bentley marque passes a milestone in its story, with the centenary of the brand. It is a huge achievement, not least because throughout those 100 years it is a company that has always been associated with the utmost sporting and luxurious cars.

    That reputation was founded on the basis of magnificent automobiles like the 6½ Liter offered here today, cars which exemplified style and performance. Walter Owen Bentley would commence operations with his four-cylinder cars which as early as 1922 were stealing the march on others in events such as the Tourist Trophy, and even Indianapolis where a sole car debuted in 1922, but it wasn't long before the 'Grand Prix d'Endurance' at Le Mans was in his sights as the ultimate proving ground.
    Forays began in 1923, with a 4th place and the following year an outright win became the first of a series of wins. Despite a dry spell through 1925-1927, the bigger 4-cylinder 4½ Liter achieved victory in 1928. Throughout this period, and frustrated by retirements at La Sarthe, production quickly evolved, and in 1926 Bentley introduced the model which would be the backbone of his final Le Mans campaigns – the fabulous 'Big Six'.

    The tale goes that further development of the 4-cylinder was deemed not enough by 'WO' after a chance encounter with the prototype Rolls-Royce 'New Phantom' in France, sending them back to the drawing board. The result was two more liters! Boasting a stoic high-quality chassis, this now behemoth power unit was matched with beefed up transmission and axles. Production of these cars continued from 1926 through to the introduction of their eventual successor the 8 Liter in 1930. Along that journey the stealth of the 6-cylinder cars brought Le Mans wins in 1929 and 1930.

    Whereas four-cylinder cars tended to receive light weight coachwork, the 6½ was unrestrained, so it is not surprising that of the 544 cars built, only 10% were delivered with open touring bodies. The buyer of the six-cylinder Bentley knew what they were doing, each country had its pinnacle cars, in Belgium the Minerva, in America Duesenberg and Packard tied for this crown, in Italy the Isotta-Fraschini and here in France the Hispano-Suiza, but arguably none blended luxury with sport as Bentley did, the owner of a Bentley was the driver and the 'red mist' was usually in the air!

    Offered for sale in the Centennial year of the marque, this handsome 'Big Six' Bentley is well-known and regarded as one of the most original of its kind to survive, retaining matching component numbers, the coachwork with which it was supplied new and even the Weymann patented fabric exterior of its body. Weymann were, of course, one of the best-known companies to experiment with lightening coachwork which they did with the use of a flexible wooden structure and fabric skin. It epitomizes the popular balance that clients chose in the late 1920s, of closed coachwork. The car's originality may be attributed to the fact that it has had a mere 8 owners from new and is strongly believed to have covered a mere 42,000 miles in its 90 year career.

    A fastidious researcher of the history of his cars, the present custodian has worked with the noted authorities on the WO era of cars to research and document its life from day one. On file are copious pieces of information charting that journey. Thanks to noted historian Tim Houlding it was possible to prove that period photos of a fabric Freestone & Webb were indeed this car and those are repeated on these pages here, C.K. Bowers. They show BR2353 in all its splendour, a handsome purposeful sporting automobile, which ultimately is how we find her today.

    The original owner of the car was a Mr. Linde of London who would keep the car for nearly a decade, only parting with it in 1937. During his ownership, the Bentley was routinely serviced at the Cricklewood Works, and when as in 1932 a minor accident occurred it was repaired there, all of which is charted on its factory record. It is understood that Mr. Linde was driven by his chauffeur and by the time it left his stable, the works notes display 33,885 miles.

    Its next owner is listed a Mr. Heckman of which we known little, from another previous owner, Barry Anderson, two previous owners are listed as Mr. Edgar Lionel Roberts of Tatsfield in Surrey, then Frederick William Hunt of the Holland Road in London, and from him before arriving with Anderson in the early 1960s. In that ownership it received much refurbishment, including an engine rebuild and the chassis repainted. By that stage the front seats must have been showing their age and they were finally recovered.

    From Anderson, the next long-term owner was J.F. Murcott, a wealthy industrialist from the British Midlands, and one who over the years had numerous important automobiles including an 1897 Daimler, and a Blitzen Benz. The Bentley would spend much of that ownership in storage rather than use.

    The Murcott family would keep the car from 1965 to the mid-1990s, when in the depths of the recession of car prices it passed to noted collector Jack Kamper. In 1995 during Mr. Kamper's ownership, the Bentley was displayed at the Museum of British Road Transport in Coventry, as part of their 'Bentley – Sporting Luxury' exhibition

    Since 1997, the Big Six has been in private family ownership. Over the course of this custody, the car has continued to be cherished, on the technical side in 2003, noted expert Tony Fabian of Blackmore Engineering completed an engine rebuild and it has been maintained when needed and such that it could be ready to use for tours. In more recent times the car has been on museum display, and its use has waned, leading to the decision to part with it. In preparation for the sale, a professional report was completed by the leading authority Dr. Clare Hay which is now on file for review.

    BR2353 is a car that has always been prized for its originality and has been sheltered throughout its life, this special Bentley is the latest in a series of important Vintage 'WO' era cars to be offered by Bonhams in the last few years. This rare survivor of its form would surely complement any collection, serving as a world-class centerpiece and example of the marque. It arrives at the sale here in stunning condition, ready to be shown or toured in any number of events that will herald the 100th anniversary of this iconic brand.

    Une des rares survivantes des Bentley "Big Six" fermées, d'un faible kilométrage
    Bentley 6½ Litres 1928 Berline Sportive Caisse Weymann à quatre glaces
    Carrossée par Freestone & Webb

    Anciennement immatriculée MP1650 au Royaume-Uni
    Châssis n° BR2353
    Moteur n° BR2351

    Moteur 6-cylindres en ligne de 6 567 cm3 à simple arbre à cames en tête
    Un carburateur Smiths 50BVS, 147 chevaux à 3 500 tr/min
    Boîte manuelle C à 4 rapports
    Suspension à ressorts à lames semi-elliptiques
    Freins à tambour mécaniques assistés sur les 4 roues

    •Historique connu depuis l'origine, rapport de Clare Hay présent au dossier
    •Numéros concordants
    •Images d'époque de la voiture disponibles
    •Exemplaire connu pour son authenticité

    Cette année est pour Bentley une étape importante de son histoire : c'est celle du centenaire de la marque. C'est un évènement considérable, car pendant ces cent années l'entreprise a en permanence été incarnée par les voitures les plus sportives et les plus luxueuses.

    Cette image a été bâtie par des automobiles aussi magnifiques que la 6½ litres proposée aujourd'hui, des voitures au style et aux performances exemplaires. Walter Owen Bentley avait débuté avec ses quatre-cylindres qui avaient volé la vedette à d'autres dès 1922 dans des épreuves telles que le Tourist Trophy, et même à Indianapolis où une voiture seule avait en 1922 fait ses débuts, et il n'avait pas fallu longtemps pour que le Grand Prix d'Endurance du Mans lui apparaisse comme le meilleur des bancs d'essai.

    Il y fit sa première incursion en 1923, avec une 4e place, et dès l'année suivante une franche victoire ouvrit la série des succès à venir. Après un passage à vide en 1925-1927, la grosse 4-cylindres 4½ litres remporta la victoire en 1928. Au cours de cette période, marquée par la déception des abandons sarthois, la production évolua rapidement et en 1926, Bentley lança le modèle qui allait être la colonne vertébrale de sa future bataille du Mans, la fantastique "Big Six".

    Il se dit que la poursuite du développement du 4-cylindres fut jugée inopportune par W. O. à la suite d'une rencontre fortuite en France avec le prototype de la Rolls-Royce New Phantom qui les fit se remettre à la planche à dessins. Il en résulta une augmentation de deux litres ! Tirant parti de la qualité de son châssis, ce moteur monstrueux fut associé à une transmission et des essieux renforcés. La production de ces voitures dura de 1926 à 1930, année de l'arrivée de leur successeur, la 8 litres. Pendant cette période, les discrets 6-cylindres remportèrent des victoires au Mans en 1929 et 1930.

    Alors que les quatre-cylindres s'orientaient plutôt vers des carrosseries légères, le 6½ litres pouvait s'affranchir de cette contrainte et on ne sera donc pas surpris que sur les 544 voitures produites, seules 10% l'aient été en carrosserie découverte. Les acheteurs des six-cylindres Bentley savaient ce qu'ils faisaient. Chaque pays avait ses voitures d'exception, les Minerva en Belgique, les Duesenberg et Packard qui se disputaient la couronne aux Etats-Unis, les Isotta-Fraschini en Italie et les Hispano-Suiza ici en France, mais on peut soutenir qu'aucune marque ne mariait le luxe et la sportivité aussi bien que Bentley ; le propriétaire d'une Bentley était celui qui la conduisait, et cela "chauffait" souvent !

    Cette élégante Bentley "Big Six" mise en vente pendant l'année du centenaire de la marque est connue ; on la considère comme l'une des survivantes la plus fidèle à sa définition, car elle est toujours munie de composants à numéros concordants et sa carrosserie est celle d'origine y compris son revêtement de tissu selon le brevet Weymann. Cette société était l'une des firmes les plus connues en matière d'allègement des carrosseries, ce qu'elle réalisait en recourant à une armature flexible en bois recouverte de tissu. Cette technique se retrouvait sur les carrosseries fermées que nombre de clients choisissaient à la fin des années 1920. L'originalité de cette voiture tient au fait qu'elle n'a eu que huit propriétaires et qu'on a toutes les raisons de penser qu'elle a parcouru à peine 67 000 km en 90 ans.

    Son dépositaire actuel enquête méticuleusement sur l'origine de ses voitures et il a travaillé avec ceux qui font autorité sur les voitures de l'époque de W. O. pour retracer sa vie depuis sa construction. On trouvera dans son dossier de nombreux documents glanés au fil de ces recherches. Les travaux de l'historien bien connu Tim Houlding ont permis de prouver que des photos d'époque prises chez Freestone & Webb par C.K. Bowers, reproduites ici, étaient bien celles de cette voiture. Elles montrent la BR2353 dans toute sa splendeur ; c'était une voiture de sport élégante et déterminée, qui est bien telle que nous la voyons aujourd'hui.

    Le premier propriétaire de la voiture était un M. Linde, de Londres, qui l'a conservée près de dix ans et ne s'en est séparé qu'en 1937. Durant ces années, elle a été régulièrement entretenue par l'usine de Cricklewood, et c'est là qu'elle a été réparée à la suite d'un léger accident survenu en 1932, évènement répertorié dans les archives de l'usine. On croit savoir que M. Linde se faisait conduire par son chauffeur et que lors de son dernier passage à l'usine, son compteur affichait 33 885 miles (54 521 km).

    Son propriétaire suivant est un certain M. Heckman, dont nous savons peu de choses, puis deux autres, M. Edgar Lionel Roberts, de Tatsfield (Surrey), et Frederick William Hunt, de Holland Road (Londres), et enfin Barry Anderson au début des années 1960. Sous sa garde, elle bénéficia d'une bonne remise en état, dont une réfection du moteur et une peinture du châssis. Les sièges avant devaient aussi avouer leur âge, et ils furent donc regarnis.

    Après M. Anderson, le propriétaire suivant fut, pendant longtemps, J.F. Murcott, un riche industriel des British Midlands, qui avait possédé au fil du temps de nombreuses automobiles parmi celles qui comptent, dont une Daimler de 1897 et une Blitzen-Benz. La Bentley passa avec lui plus de temps au garage que sur la route.

    La famille Murcott conserva cette Bentley de 1965 jusqu'au milieu des années 1990, période de forte décroissance du prix des voitures, lors de laquelle elle fut vendue à Jack Kamper, le collectionneur bien connu. En 1995, alors qu'elle appartenait à M. Kamper, elle fut exposée à Coventry au Museum of British Road Transport dans le cadre de son exposition "Bentley – Sporting Luxury".

    Depuis 1997, la Big Six appartient à une famille de particuliers. Sous leur garde, elle a continué à faire l'objet de soins attentifs ; sur le plan technique, l'expert reconnu Tony Fabian de Blackmore Engineering a refait en 2003 son moteur, et elle a été entretenue comme il se devait de façon à pouvoir prendre la route. Plus récemment, elle a été exposée dans un musée, puis elle a vu son utilisation se réduire, ce qui a conduit son propriétaire à choisir de s'en séparer. En vue de cette mise en vente, un rapport de niveau professionnel a été établi par le Dr Clare Hay, une experte reconnue ; il figure au dossier pour consultation.

    La BR2353 est une voiture qui a toujours été appréciée pour son authenticité et qui a été maintenue à l'abri tout au long de sa vie. Cette Bentley très spéciale est la dernière d'une série de voitures d'importance de l'ère "W. O." que Bonhams a proposées ces dernières années. Cette rare survivante de son époque sera un ambassadeur de la marque qui viendra assurément agrémenter n'importe quelle collection, dont elle constituera une pièce maîtresse de classe mondiale. Elle est mise en vente dans un état exceptionnel, prête à être exposée ou envoyée dans l'un ou l'autre des nombreux évènements qui vont accompagner le centenaire de cette marque légendaire.
Contacts
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Low mileage, rare survivor of closed 'Big Six' Bentley,1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351
Auction information

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Buyers' Premium and Charges

Buyers' Premium and Charges for Motor Cars

Buyer's Premium Rates
15% of the Hammer Price
TVA at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges.

Buyers' Premium and Charges for Automobilia
Buyers Premium Rates
25% up to 150,000 of hammer price, 20% from 150,001 up to 2,000,000 of hammer price, 12,5% thereafter

Collection Notices

Notice Collections, transport and storage

All vehicles must be collected from the Grand Palais by 3pm Friday 8 February 2019.

In the absence of customer instructions received by Maëlle Fontaine, maelle.fontaine@bonhams.com or + 33 (0)6 66 01 91 03 BY 10PM ON THE DAY OF SALE, all vehicles will be removed to a temporary storage facility near Paris by the logistics company CARS Europe at your expense and risk.

Administration and uplift from Le Grand Palais:
€550 + TVA per motor car

Storage charges from Friday 8 February 2019:
€40 + TVA per motor car per day

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