1926 Bentley 3/4.5 Litre Short Chassis Speed Model
This 3 Litre (subsequently upgraded to 4.5 litre specs, see below) Short Chassis Speed Model Bentley was originally guaranteed ex Works on 17 July 1925 before being sold to a Mr. C. Culverwell from Bristol and first registered on 14 July 1926. The coachwork fitted was Vanden Plas Open Tourer style, skinned in aluminium and which is still fitted to the chassis today, with body number 1288 as stamped into the floorboards. The UK registration of HU 6858 remained with the car throughout its life in the UK.
Change of ownership history is fully recorded both pre and post war, the longest custodianship being that of Lt. Cdr. Chris Pack, RN, who purchased the 3 litre in 1963 for £450 and went on to own it for the following 42 years, during which time in 1988 the decision was made to upgrade to 4.5 litres; thus a suitable 3 litre crankcase was sourced and fitted with a new Phoenix shell bearing crankshaft and rods, all co-joined with a new Bentley Drivers Club spares-scheme derived 4.5 litre block. This mechanical upgrade was followed by a major rebuild in 1999/2000 when the body was taken off, the gearbox rebuilt using new Brineton Engineering gears and with overhauls to the front and rear axles, braking system and so forth.
By 2006 the Bentley was under new ownership and through the next decade further work included re-coring the radiator (2006), fitment of a 16 gallon 4.5 litre-type fuel tank (2007), complete engine rebuild and dynamo overhaul (2008), overhaul of the brakes, springs and magnetos rebuild (2009) and then new rear engine mountings, new king pins/bushes, new chassis nibs, shackles and spring hangers, new shock absorbers and mountings, steering box overhaul all through 2010.
The current USA owner purchased the Bentley in 2014 and entrusted it to marque exponents N.D.R. of Hertfordshire, UK for more upgrade work which included amongst other things, the fitting of a Laycock J-Type overdrive, complete re-wire, new windscreen, upgrading the fuel system with secondary lines, installing a new steering box, converting the throttle to right-hand side, installing a new hood, tonneau and bag and then all cosmetic detailing to bring up to factory standards. The cost of all this good work was a shade over £47,500 in November 2014 and copy receipts are on file.
The Bentley is a delight with a wholesome appearance overall; starting first time from dead cold and quickly warming up it makes all the right exhaust notes. On the move the gearbox is superb and the overdrive clicks in and out. The right foot accelerator pedal location of course helps. On a short test drive due to inclement weather, the car responded really well and would surely be a terrific event car with plenty of power from the 4.5 engine.
Offered with history files documenting ownership and expenses and with a known ownership history from new, as well as sporting its original and numbered Vanden Plas open tourer coachwork.
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