1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758

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Lot 266
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica
Registration no. GC3333 Chassis no. SB2758

Sold for £ 501,400 (US$ 667,806) inc. premium
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica
Registration no. GC3333
Chassis no. SB2758
*Shortened chassis (11' wheelbase)
*Many correct original works items
*Accurate Vanden Plas Long Door style body
*Completed in August 2020

Footnotes

  • Although the 6½-Litre had been conceived as a touring car to compete with Rolls-Royce's New Phantom, in Speed Six form it proved admirably suited to competition: in 1929 Barnato/Birkin's Speed Six won the Le Mans 24 Hour Race ahead of a trio of 4½-Litre Bentleys, while Barnato/Kidston repeated the feat in the following year's Grand Prix d'Endurance at the Sarthe circuit ahead of similarly-mounted Clement/Watney. Small wonder then, that the fast yet refined 6½-Litre Speed Six was W O Bentley's favourite car.

    Walter Owen Bentley had established Bentley Motors in 1919 in the North London suburb of Cricklewood, though deliveries did not begin until 1921. The first model, a 3-litre car, was powered by a four-cylinder, single-overhead-camshaft engine with four valves per cylinder. It was a mechanical theme perpetuated in the greatly refined six-cylinder 6½-Litre model of 1926. The need for a larger car had resulted from Bentley's customers specifying bodies of a size not envisaged when the 3-Litre was conceived, a factor only partially addressed by the introduction of the Long Standard chassis in 1923. The 6½-Litre was produced for four years, during which time 544 chassis were completed, 182 of them to Speed Six specification.

    First owned by a Miss C M Buttanshaw, this 6½-Litre left Bentley's Cricklewood factory in January 1930 for bodying by James Young as a saloon, but was re-bodied in April of that year with saloon coachwork by Barker & Co. Its subsequent history is largely unknown, but the Bentley formerly belonged to John Willment, co-founder of the Le Mans-winning JW Automotive racing team, and more recently was owned by renowned marque specialist Julian Ghosh, its custodian up to 2019.

    As presented here the car has been built as a replica of the works Le Mans Speed Six. It incorporates many correct original works items, and the attention to detail is brilliant. 'SB2758' was originally erected on the standard ST3 12' 6" wheelbase chassis, which has been shortened to the more appropriate 11' wheelbase. The body frame was made by Eric Peppercorn and incorporates the team cars' special features including the long door, etc, while the fabric body covering and black leather upholstery are the work of VBE/Tim Cresswell. The ash frame has inlaid aluminium panels for increased stiffness and longevity.

    All mechanical components: engine, gearbox, axles, brakes, etc are in overhauled condition and the wiring is new. The engine incorporates a Farnham crankshaft and Arrow pistons, with the machining work was carried out by Formhalls. The gearbox and rear axle were overhauled by VBE. Modern upgrades include twin Spal electric fans and a discreetly mounted 12-volt alternator (the original dynamo is installed but not wired in). The trembler coil ignition is in place but not wired pending the acquisition of a proper magneto. Other notable features include the following:

    Bentley & Draper hydraulic shock absorbers (x8)
    External oil filler neck
    Team Car dashboard layout and gauges
    Twin pulse fuel pumps and rubber sleeved fuel lines
    Crossbar throttle assembly and organ throttle pedal
    Twin Klaxon horns
    Carl Zeiss headlamps
    Brass fire extinguisher (not serviceable, display only)
    Blockley tyres
    Brake vacuum booster
    Three soft-top bows instead of two for stiffness and usability
    Glass windscreen instead of wire mesh for usability
    Rope-wrapped steering wheel

    Only finished in August 2020, this stunning Le Mans Team Car replica is worthy of the closest inspection. Running and driving very well this imposing Bentley is now ready to be enjoyed by its new custodian.

Saleroom notices

  • During the chassis shortening to Le Mans specifications, new side rails were incorporated into the frame. The original numbered Bentley dumb iron knuckles and cross members were retained.
Contacts
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Le Mans Team Car Replica  Chassis no. SB2758
Auction information

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