Lot 159

Amelia Island 2023

1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Tourer by Cadogan

Offered from A Private Collection


$687,000 USD | Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Gearbox No.
Registration No.
SR 7702
Rear Axle No.
US Title
  • The only surviving 4½-Litre retaining its original Cadogan fabric tourer body
  • Well-known ownership history, documented by Bentley authority Dr. Clare Hay
  • Restyled in-period for H.M. Bentley with numerous attractive features
  • Marque specialist restoration in excellent overall condition
  • A Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic

Five of the distinguished and potent Bentley 4½-Litres were built with four-passenger fabric-paneled tourer bodies by Cadogan Motors (1928) Ltd., a design favored by touring-minded enthusiast owners for being slightly more spacious and comfortable in the rear compartment than the better-known Vanden Plas design. The car offered here is the only survivor on its original 4½-Litre chassis. Number DS3570, a desirable late-specification car with reinforced, stiffer frame, plate clutch, and updated self-wrapping front brakes, it was sent to Cadogan on 22 July 1929. Following completion, it is believed to have been used for a time as a demonstrator by the prominent London Bentley dealers Gaffikin Wilkinson before being sold to its original owner, D.C. Cowans Fairweather of Angus, Scotland. He registered it in Aberdeen as SR 7702 in July 1930.

The car is believed to have next passed in 1932 to one G. Ellis of London. Like many of these highly sporting automobiles, it was involved in an accident, necessitating replacement of the chassis frame and front axle with NOS components. As a result, the frame carries the original number of DS3570 while appearing to be a factory Service Department installation, while the replacement axle is not numbered. Soon, in 1935 or 1936, the Bentley changed hands again, this time to J. Armstrong of London. In 1938 it was restyled while in the care of W.O.’s brother and Bentley dealer, H.M. Bentley, with the front doors cut down in a racing fashion; the fenders, running boards, and valances all modernized; and Telecontrol shock absorbers and an oversized gasoline tank fitted.

Following World War II, in 1946, the car was purchased by John Harris, who shortly resold it to Captain H.A.K. Lay. Several further owners enjoyed the car in Bentley Drivers Club meetings across England, most prominent among them K.J.R. Tanner. Mr. Tanner acquired DS3570 in 1967 and would enjoy it for four decades. At the conclusion of Mr. Tanner’s care, DS3570 was purchased by longstanding Vintage Bentley enthusiast, Alessandro Tonolli. As a satisfied customer of the renowned Bentley specialists James Pearce & Company, Mr. Tonolli elected to have them restore the bodywork, preserving its attractive H.M. Bentley modifications. The mechanical and electrical systems were restored by Blackmore Engineering, with a new, more attractive fuel tank fitted; an overdrive and electric cooling fan fitted for touring; and the accelerator and brake pedals exchanged to the modern conventional positions, for safe operation.

Acquired for its present owner’s distinguished collection in 2015, the Bentley remains well-preserved in the same fine condition in which it was acquired, with minor improvements throughout including the rebuilding of the fuel tank by the noted Straight Eight of Troy, Michigan. A detailed report from around the time of his acquisition, penned by renowned Bentley expert Dr. Clare Hay, notes that the car retains its original engine and C-type gearbox, as well as the original hood panels, steering column, differential casing, “banjo,” and other components which are all stamped with the chassis number and thus can be confirmed to be original to the car. The magnetos, exhaust manifold, and even the carburetors are all noted by Dr. Hay as being correct for this chassis.

With many W.O. Bentleys being of rather confusing and frequently uncertain parentage, DS3570 is a most satisfying exception, and would be exceptionally ideal for the many vintage Bentley tours and rallies available worldwide.