1936 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre

Year : 1936
Make : Bentley
Model : 4 1/4 Litre
Coachbuilder : Carlton
Price : P.O.A.
Body Type : Saloon
Colour : Cream and Purple
Trim : Beige Leather Piped Purple
Condition : Extensively mechanically restored in recent years.
Technical Data : Four speed manual gearbox, 6 cylinder in-line engine, 4.25 litres displacement, 4257cc 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. 1936 saw further improvements with the introduction of the 4.25 Litre model when production of the 3.5 Litre unit ceased. The coachwork options available to buyers of Derby Bentleys was wide, with numerous body builders in the UK and further afield. Chassis No B55GP was originally completed in August of 1936, fitted with a saloon body by Rippon. It was ordered by Mr Leonard H.Firth of Leeds and records show it changed hands in 1951 when purchased by W.C.W. Brice of Rochester. In July 1938 Chassis No B203KU was completed, fitted with one of three very stylish saloon bodies by Carlton. At a time unknown, but thought to be early in these cars lives, the coachwork from Chassis No B203KU was removed and replaced with an open tourer design. The Carlton saloon coachwork was then transferred to Chassis No B55GP and the original Rippon saloon coachwork was removed and discarded. Carlton coachwork is considered by many to be some of the finest built for Derby Chassis. This particular design is perhaps some of the most stylish saloon style coachwork ever made, with strong indications that Gurney Nutting had a hand in the styling of this design. The body is pillarless with suicide opening rear doors, creating exceptional ease of access to and from the car when both doors are opened. The side profile of this motor car is superb, with strong art deco themes everywhere you look. From the concealed door hinges, to the rear wheel spats, to the stylish chrome spears that run along the coachwork, to the tail mounted spare wheel beautifully set into the coachwork, this car is superbly designed. Early photos show the car finished in a light grey colour scheme, something that has been changed over recent decades with a much more outlandish cream and purple colour scheme chosen for both the interior and exterior. The new choices show the beautiful lines of Chassis No B55GP more clearly and it creates a great deal of attention and appreciation wherever it is driven. Chassis No B55GP was purchased in Europe by the present owner in 2010 and was repatriated to England shortly after. At the conclusion of 2010 the car was sent to Fiennes engineering for appraisal and analysis. Shortly after an extensive program of works were undertaken by Fiennes, which included but were not limited to overhaul and restoration of the chassis, one shot lubrication system, dampers, front and back axles, brakes, steering, the radiator and a re-wire with a new loom. These works concluded in mid-2012. In more recent times Fiennes were then instructed to overhaul the engine, works that were only concluded towards the end of 2019, with the newly overhauled engine now run in and tested. The result of their works is a first class motor car. The history file documents the two periods of restoration works at Fiennes in great detail, with all the invoices, photographs and various correspondence present. A beautifully prepared Derby Bentley with outlandish and beautifully executed coachwork and one we are delighted to be able to offer 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 sales@frankdale.com

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