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Lot 218: Bentley 4.25 Litre Le Mans Tourer

Techno Classica, Coys (2 April 2011)

The Bentley 4 Litre is a British sports car built by Bentley Motors. Its supercharged variant is also known as the Blower Bentley. Famous for his statement there's no replacement for displacement, Walter Owen Bentley upped the displacement of the Bentley 3 Litre in 1926 to produce the 4 Litre. Upon taking control of the company, the Bentley Boys went in search of even more power and developed the supercharged model in 1929 at Henry Birkin's racing workshops in Welwyn Garden City. The total production of the 4-Liter was 720 between 1927 and 1931. The Bentley 4 Litre is notable for winning the 1927 24 Hours of Le Mans in normally aspirated form and for attaining the speed record in 1932 on the Brooklands circuit with a speed of 222.03 km/h in supercharged form. The 4 Litre was an evolution of the 3 Litre, sharing that car's basic chassis, including its semi-elliptical suspension at all four wheels and four-wheel brakes. The straight-4 engine was bored out to 3.9 in to produce 4398 cc of displacement. This was good for 110 hp in road-going models or 130 hp when tweaked for racing. Chassis no FS3616 was completed and delivered to its first coachbuilder in March 1930, and was ultimately passed off by Bentley in June 1930, and registered VR 9379, its first owner being a Mr Box, with the car actually being sold by Tom Garner Limited in Manchester as agents. The service record for chassis FS3616 exists and is complete until 1939, with one interesting note in 1935, where it appears the car went to the factory for a test and report, and later notes in the file indicate the car is likely to have been sold to a new owner in Sheffield. As is true of all W.O Bentleys of the period, the factory service records cease in 1939, as the Bentley service department in Kingsbury was shut down by Rolls-Royce at the outbreak of the war. By 1970, FS3616 was owned by Hugh Harben, the famous Bentley enthusiast from the Midlands in England. Amongst other Bentleys owned by Mr Harben was none other than the famous Blue Train Gurney Nutting coupe, which Mr Harben had in actual fact discovered as a barn find and restored  one of the most significant W.O Bentley discoveries of all time. Harben used the car in various Bentley Drivers Club events throughout Europe in the 1970s, prior to selling the car to the very well-known Anglo-American collector and racing driver Murray Smith in approximately 1985-86. Smith continued to use the car on various competitive events, including the Mille Miglia retrospective, where he was partnered by none other than Formula 1 world champion Phil Hill. In 1988, the car was sold via Coys to the Allmand-Smith family, in whose ownership it has remained. This well known 4 Litre Bentley, with a known history of notable owners and events to its credit has benefited from a long and distinguished period of single ownership spanning some 22 years. The car is in fine overall condition throughout, and driving exceptionally well, with full Smiths and Jaeger Le Mans instrumentation and big clocks, machine-turned dashboard, cord-bound steering wheel, aero screens, and appropriate stone guards, with Le Mans fuel tank and filler, and fishtail exhaust. Cosmetically and as a result, has a charming style and patina so appropriate for a Bentley 4 Litre Le Mans tourer.

Lot Details
Auction Techno Classica
Coys, Essen, Germany
Lot Number218
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration numberVR 9379
Chassis numberFS3616
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors