Cliveden House

1939 Bentley 4¼ Litre Sedanca Coupé in the Style of Henri Chapron

Offered from The Dee Collection

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£80,000 - £140,000 GBP  | Offered Without Reserve

United Kingdom | Taplow, Berkshire, United Kingdom

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Chassis No.
B185MX
Engine No.
T3BF
  • Offered from The Dee Collection
  • One of only 1,234 examples of the charming Bentley 4 ¼-Litre; one of only 200 later “MR/MX” variants to gain an overdrive
  • Rebodied in its current unique Sedanca Coupé style; subject to a complete restoration in the mid-1990s
  • Retains its matching-numbers chassis and engine
  • Invoices on file attest to fastidious maintenance by the consigning owner; part of the vendor’s collection for 25 years
  • Accompanied by copies of the original factory build data and plus boot-fitted toolkit
Addendum: Please note this lot has entered the UK on a temporary import bond, which must be cancelled either by exporting the lot outside of the UK on an approved Bill of Lading with supporting customs documentation or by paying the applicable VAT and import duties to have the lot remain in the UK.

Unveiled at the 1933 Olympia Motor Show, the Bentley 3½-Litre underlined that a marque that had won the Le Mans 24 Hours five times and still favoured a sporting chassis even after being acquired by Rolls-Royce two years prior. Affectionately known as the original “Derby Bentley”, the model would be superseded by the brawnier 4¼-Litre in 1936.

By the time production of the 4¼-Litre came to an end in 1939, Bentley had constructed 1,234 examples. Only 200 of those were later “MR/MX” variants, which gained an overdrive. Among them was this car, chassis B185MX, which was delivered to its first owner, Mr R P Silcock of Lancashire, on 8 June 1939. Nearly two-thirds of all 4¼-Litre cars were bodied by Park Ward, including this example, which was originally finished as a steel saloon, according to copies of the factory build record. Mr Silcock, a collector of Dutch Old Master paintings, kept the Bentley until December 1947. By 1972, this car had moved across the Atlantic to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Chassis B185MX also spent time in France, with the speedometer and odometer at some point changed read in kilometres. There, the car was rebodied to its current Sedanca Coupé style, said to mimic the coachwork of Rolls-Royce Phantom IIs by Henri Chapron. The car was fully restored by Sauzeau Automobiles in Paris through the mid-1990s before being bought by its Jersey-based consigning owner in 1999. Upon purchase, the Bentley was sent to the Riste Motor Company of Nottingham, where the engine was stripped and reassembled, new gearbox mountings fitted, and the electrical system overhauled in work totalling £26,498.

A member of The Derby Bentley Society and Jersey Old Motors Club, the current custodian has enjoyed this car on numerous road rally events. Marque specialist Fiennes Restoration has regularly attended to the Bentley. The brakes and front axle were reconditioned in August 2012 at a cost of £10,149. The following year, £15,561 was spent on rejuvenating the suspension and engine. A major service was carried out by Le Riche Automobile Restorers in Jersey in May 2023, with the carburettor rebuilt, plus the chassis, suspension, and doors greased and lubricated for £3,588. Invoices for all of the above accompany the car.

Presented in two-tone grey and black over a tan leather interior with accenting wood trim, chassis B185MX retains its matching-numbers chassis and engine. Accompanied by a history file, copies of the original factory build data, plus a boot-fitted tool kit, this 4¼-Litre would be a worthy companion on spirited drives as much as it would be at home in attendance on the lawn at any classic car event.