1937 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre

Year : 1937
Make : Bentley
Model : 4 1/4 Litre
Coachbuilder : Gurney Nutting
Body Type : Aerofoil Fixed Head Coupe
Colour : Black and Grey
Trim : Black Leather
Technical Data : Four speed manual gearbox, 6 cylinder in-line engine, 4.25 litres displacement, 4257cc capacity. Servo-assisted brakes.


During the late 1920s and early 1930s Bentley ran into grave financial trouble and by 1931 Rolls-Royce had stepped in and bought the assets and goodwill of the defunct company and formed a new one, Bentley Motors (1931) Ltd. Rolls-Royce had considered the Bentley marque to be a growing threat to their future success, but following their purchase decided to continue the Bentley name, albeit under their own stewardship, taking the company in an entirely new direction with the creation of the Silent Sports Car or Derby Bentley. In 1933 the new Bentley 3.5 Litre model was released and was an instant success. The combination of effortless power and style met with almost universal praise. It was powered by a developed twin carburettor version of Rolls-Royces own 20/25 model and was installed in a low 126 inch wheelbase chassis that basically remained unaltered until the cessation of production in 1939 due to the outbreak of hostilities. Synchromesh was present on third and fourth gears and the Derbys were fitted with a cross flow cylinder head and superb servo assisted brakes, encapsulating all of the perfection of Rolls-Royce engineering in this small sporting Bentley. Fitting of individual coachwork by approved body builders continued in true Rolls-Royce fashion giving potential buyers a great deal of choice in the look of their new motor car. 1936 saw further improvements with the introduction of the 4.25 Litre model when production of the 3.5 Litre unit ceased. Gurney Nutting are widely considered to be one of the finest pre-war coachbuilders in terms of the style of their designs and the quality of the construction and Chassis No B90KT may well be one of their finest creations. It is one of just four Aerofoil fixed head coupes they produced, a design which was promoted by H.R.Owen. The coachwork is styled with a high waistline which falls sharply behind the door and the rear window is split in two. The swage line is particularly stylish on this design, crossing the scuttle, following the bottom of the window line and then curving back around the rear window. This design attracted attention from India, with the first two cars (Chassis Nos B183EJ and B194FB) being ordered by Maharajas. Chassis No B90KT was originally ordered by H.R.Owen for stock and was completed and tested in September of 1937, finished in grey with a grey leather interior. It was retained by H.R.Owen, possibly as a demonstrator, until sold to Claude E Goodyear in 1938. It was registered by Mr Goodyear in Warwickshire and issued with the number plate CUE 302, which it still retains today. It was sold in 1943 to Captain C Hyland of Wakefield and then possibly sold to John Gaul during the Second World War as he and his wife are pictured with the car. Robert Briggs-Bury of Bournemouth purchased the car in 1946 and it was supplied back to H.R.Owen via Jack Barclay in 1947. It was then purchased by H.M.Everett in 1949 and T.D.Darwall in 1958. Peter Holton bought B90KT some years later in a dilapidated state and restored it, finishing the car in cream with a blue leather interior. Frank Dale & Stepsons then acquired the car for the first time in 2001 and supplied to a long standing customer in Belgium. Over the next decade, the car was extensively worked on by noted specialists on the Continent, with works including a complete engine overhaul, an extensive mechanical review and cosmetic works to the coachwork. It changed hands most recently in late 2015 and has benefited from a great deal of work since then, returning the car to its former glory. The works are too extensive to list here but are available upon request. The car is complete with a beautiful tool tray in the boot, hidden in the coachwork, fitted luggage also in the boot, a handbook and an extensive history file. We are delighted to be offering this beautiful Derby Bentley once again, now in perhaps the best condition it has been in since it was ordered by H.R.Owen in 1937.

If you would like to make an enquiry about this vehicle, please contact us by phone on (00 852) 2285 1888 or by email at enquiry@frankdale.com.hk