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1935 Bentley 3 ½ Litre

Year : 1935
Make : Bentley
Model : 3 1/2 Litre
Coachbuilder : Vanden Plas
Price : P.O.A.
Body Type : Open Tourer
Colour : Grey
Trim : Red Leather
Condition : Very nice original condition
Technical Data : Four speed manual gearbox, 6 cylinder in-line engine, 3.5 litres displacement, 3669cc capacity. Servo-assisted brakes.


During the late 1920s and early 1930s Bentley ran into grave financial trouble and by 1931 Rolls-Royce had stepped in and bought the assets and goodwill of the defunct company and formed a new one, Bentley Motors (1931) Ltd. Rolls-Royce had considered the Bentley marque to be a growing threat to their future success, but following their purchase decided to continue the Bentley name, albeit under their own stewardship, taking the company in an entirely new direction with the creation of the Silent Sports Car or Derby Bentley. In 1933 the new Bentley 3.5 Litre model was released and was an instant success. The combination of effortless power and style met with almost universal praise. It was powered by a developed twin carburettor version of Rolls-Royces own 20/25 model and was installed in a low 126 inch wheelbase chassis that basically remained unaltered until the cessation of production in 1939 due to the outbreak of hostilities. Synchromesh was present on third and fourth gears and the Derbys were fitted with a cross flow cylinder head and superb servo assisted brakes, encapsulating all of the perfection of Rolls-Royce engineering in this small sporting Bentley. Fitting of individual coachwork by approved body builders continued in true Rolls-Royce fashion giving potential buyers a great deal of choice in the look of their new motor car. Chassis No B81EJ was originally completed in August of 1935 and was shipped to its first owner, Mr Paul Iaccaci of Park Avenue New York City. Mr Iaccaci kept the car for just a couple of years before sending it back to Bentley in the UK where he traded it for a new 4 ¼ Litre model. It was supplied by Bentley to its second owner in 1937, Mr H.H.Peters of Birmingham, who owned and ran Birchfield Garages. In 1954 Chassis No B81EJ was purchased by Mr George P Tinker who kept the car for several decades before passing it to his son. The present owner acquired B81EJ in 1995 and has kept the car in his collection ever since. He is just the fourth owner from new. Following his acquisition in 1995, the present owner had the car repainted in its original colour, in correct nitro cellulose paint. In 1996 an overdrive unit was fitted, adding more power at lower revolutions in fourth gear. A beautiful and extensive history file accompanies the car, with original correspondence dating back to the 1950’s present. Maintenance and improvement records are also present and correct. Most recently, Frank Dale & Stepsons prepared the car for our showroom with works to the braking system (freshly relined), a new exhaust system (ensuring the original cut out system is fully functional) and some small but sympathetic cosmetic improvements, ensuring the lovely original feel this car has was retained. The Vanden Plas open tourer on a Derby Bentley chassis is one of the finest pre-war cars available in our opinion. They are light, sporting, attractive and wonderful to drive. This car is one of just thirty nine such examples on the 3 ½ Litre chassis, comes mechanically prepared whilst it shows off some lovely original cosmetic aspects, notably with the interior leather. It comes complete with its original handbook, full weather equipment including the original side screens and some beautiful period Bentley literature showing the options available to purchasers during the early to mid-1930s. A tremendously fun car to drive and one we are delighted to be offering for sale at this time.

If you would like to make an enquiry about this vehicle, please contact us by phone on 020 8847 5447 or by email at