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Lot 109: 1934 Bentley 3.5-Litre Sports Saloon

Important Sports & Competition Motor Cars, Bonhams (16 September 2005)

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. Based on the contemporary Rolls-Royce 20/25hp, the 3.5-Litre Bentley was slightly shorter in the wheelbase and employed a tuned (115bhp) twin-SU-carburettor version of the former’s overhead-valve six. Add to this already remarkable package an all-synchromesh four-speed gearbox and servo assisted brakes, and the result was a vehicle offering the driver effortless sportscar performance in almost absolute silence. ‘The Silent Sports Car’, as it was swiftly dubbed, had few peers as a tireless long-distance tourer, combining as it did traditional Rolls-Royce refinement with Bentley performance and handling.
The Derby Bentley was, of course, an exclusively coachbuilt automobile and as befitted its sporting nature was almost always fitted with owner-driver saloon or drophead coupé coachwork, the ‘standard’ designs being the work of Park Ward. Of the 2,442 examples manufactured (including the subsequent 4.25-Litre model) almost 50 ere bodied by Park Ward in a limited number of styles. Most of the other great British coachbuilding firms offered designs, many of them unique, on the Derby Bentley chassis and ‘B66AH’ wears handsome two-door sports saloon coachwork by the London-based firm of H J Mulliner. Founded in 1900, H J Mulliner was involved with makes of distinction from its earliest days, bodying an early Silver Ghost chassis for C S Rolls before going onto establish itself in the front rank of British coachbuilders by the start of the 1920s.
‘B66AH’ was first registered on 10th May 1934 to first owner Walter Pocock. Its late owner purchased the car from Keith Jackson, of Hampshire, in May 1981, using it regularly up to the time it was decided to embark on a complete and thorough body-off restoration. Completed in the late 1990s, the latter included a full mechanical rebuild to the highest standard, full electrical rewire, new upholstery, carpets and headlining, and repaint in Rolls-Royce garnet over black. Included in the sale is Dr Barnard’s personal logbook of purchases and restoration notes dating from 1981 to 2003, which records that the vehicle undertook its first major post-completion run on 27th August 1998, encountering no problems. The logbook’s final entry (August 2003) records the purchase of two new tyres from Vintage Tyre Supplies (invoice available). The vehicle is offered with old-style buff logbook (recording four previous owners between 1956 and 1970), restoration invoices and photographic record, lubrication notes, MoT to June 2006, current road fund licence and Swansea V5C registration document.

No Reserve.

Lot Details
Auction Important Sports & Competition Motor Cars
Bonhams, Goodwood Revival, Chichester
Lot Number109
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£38000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£43300
Condition rating
Registration numberAYF9
Chassis numberB66AH
Engine numberJ3BQ
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors