Lot 677: 1935 Bentley 3.5-Litre Drophead Coupé
Although Rolls-Royce’s acquisition of Bentley Motors in 1931 robbed the latter of its independence, it did at least ensure the survival of the Bentley name. Launched in 1933, the first of the ‘Derby Bentleys’, as they would come to be known, continued the marque’s sporting associations but in a manner even more refined than before. Even W O Bentley himself acknowledged that the 3.5 -Litre model was the finest ever to bear his name. The ‘Silent Sportscar’, as it was quickly dubbed, had few peers as a tireless long-distance tourer, combining as it did traditional Rolls-Royce refinement with Bentley performance and handling.
As befitted its sporting nature, the Derby Bentley was almost always fitted with owner-driver saloon or drophead coupé coachwork, the example offered here being bodied by H J Mulliner. R-REC records show that chassis number ‘B27AH’ is one of only four drophead coupés bodied by H J Mulliner within the chassis series ‘B2AH’ to ‘B198AH’ (99 cars).
‘BLX 124’ was acquired in January 1958 by previous owner Bill Heddon, a friend of W O Bentley with whom he played golf. Heddon’s wife Daphne used the car as everyday transport until 1964, when it was laid up and garaged. The vendor purchased the car in May 1990 and commenced a five-year meticulous restoration of the engine, all running gear and coachwork. The body was removed from the chassis, stripped to bare metal and professionally repaired before being re-sprayed in Brewster Green. The original upholstery and door trim panels were renovated by Connolly Brothers, of Wimbledon and the carpets manufactured by Wilton to the original pattern. Re-wiring was carried out using the correct period cable, all instruments were professionally rebuilt, the radiator re-cored and the brightwork re-plated.
Since restoration the car has seen very little use and remains in excellent cosmetic condition throughout. The vehicle is offered with R-REC correspondence, sundry invoices, and Swansea V5.
Sports, Competition & Collectors' Motor Cars|
Bonhams, Goodwood Festival Of Speed, Chichester
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