Chassis no: 1155
1926 Bentley 3 litre with Vanden Plas Style Body.
Chassis number: 1155
Engine Number: 1170
Registration number: YM4224
Under the present family ownership for 82 years!!!! We are selling this car on behalf of the grand daughter of the man who bought it in 1937 no less. She has enjoyed the car & very ably driven it during the last decade or so but now wishes to pass it on to its next custodian.
This 3 litre Bentley represnts Bentley motoring in its purest form. Light powerful & responsive are the words I would use to describe it with a "Go anywhere" feel to it. The car benefitted from a full overhaul some years ago leaving the engine in fine running order. To drive an early 3 litre Bentley is to experience the marque in its purest form which became lost as the cars grew bigger & heavier.
The car is all matching numbers with the exception of the steering box which was swapped for an earlier one decades ago during the years when these cars were used as daily transport & owners were more hung up on being able to use the car as opposed to making sure their numbers all matched. Thus the car has its original engine, A type gear box, chassis & axles etc, The radiator is the original unit from the Galley Radiator company; the instruments the originals as supplied to the car when new.
The car was rebodied many years ago & comes with an original Bentley red print set of plans from which the body was constructed. Indeed a beautiful job was done on the ash framing matching exactly to the original Bentley Prints dating back to 1925 which come with the car. Also a 1929 pattern drilled split skirt piston comes from the car which was removed during the engine rebuild when new pistons were fitted.
The real beauty of this car is the used & patinated feel it has to it. It has clearly been loved, cherished & used as its maker intended. The car starts readily & displays 17lbs or so of oil pressure at all times. Temperature from the Boyce Motometer on the radiator stays well in the green at all times.
A faded black hood is fitted in very serviceable condition. A similarly faded full split tonneau cover also comes with the car. There is a removable rear rack & luggage box along with a full set of side screens that stow in front of the luggage box.
The car comes with a massive history file with correspondence dating back to the 1950's. We will photograph this in due course aftre it arrives from the onwer who is making copies of it due it being such a part of the family history.
Originally a Weyman saloon, the car suffered an accident in the 1930's with damage to the rear quarter. The grandfather of the current owner purchased the car & fitted a saloon body from a Talbot to it & the car then provided fast family transport for many years before the current VDP body was painstakingly constructed using a traditional ash frame. The body is covered in maroon rexine fabric with the original wings painted black.
A large & mellifluous klaxon is fitted to the running board ready to bray out ones arrival. The front number plate we notice is loosely attached to the fornt crossmember & has a habit of blowing back close to horizontal when at speed; an earley attempt at speed camera avoidance perhaps??? The car is fitted with 21" beaded edge rims & tyres to the front which helps account for the light direct steering. Delightful period details abound such as the original rev counter coupling coming our of the back of the engine.
The below is infomratin provided by the currentl family onwers.
History of Bentley Servicing and Rebuild
1937 - bought by James (Great Uncle Hamish) Cameron Bowie for £5 in Aberdeen. It had been parked up following a rear end shunt which wrecked the Freestone and Webb Weymann body. James fitted a Talbot 75 body, which he acquired from a local scrap yard. Mechanically the car was good having had a total overhaul at the Cricklewood Bentley factory in 1928.
1948 - 50Harold Bowie (Grandad) took the car over with the agreement that he pay off the hire purchase on a Railton James had purchased.
1956The engine was re-bored and new pistons fitted along with new valves.
1958Big ends and main bearings reground and white metalled.
1961The car was laid up.
1969Hamish (Dad) and my Uncle Mike rescued the Bentley from a metal shed that was about to be demolished. They disposed of the body, stripped the engine and mothballed all the parts.
1976 – 1978 Dad started the rebuild.
Starting with the body frame. Dad was aiming to make a replica Speed Model and had a set of original red prints. A friend of his had an original Speed Model from which he copied all the hood irons and scuttle stiffening irons, making it very strong. It was professionally covered and trimmed by H&H coachbuilding who also made the hood.
1978 onwards The Chassis and Engine
Dad bought new top hat bushes for the brake system - new bronze bushes and pins for the shackles, taking up the side play by silver soldering shims in place. Dad re-bushed the King pin bushes and had the pins skimmed to fit. Brian Morgan overhauled a spare steering box which was in better condition than the original, he said it was like new, so dad fitted this and sold the original box to the owner of Blockley Tyres.
Dad completely stripped the rear axle fitting new crown wheel and pinion 3.7 ratio, also fitted new stronger sun and planet wheels and made up new stronger (thicker) differential side plates. Dad renewed all differential bearings including thrusts and fitted new roller bearing journals bearings to support the differential. The pot joint was rebuilt, Dad silver soldered phosphor bronze sheet onto the original sliding blocks and machined them to fit. Dad had a new or unworn outer sleeve which he fitted. Dad dismantled the front universal and made new bronze bushes and case hardened ground pins.
Dad had the big ends ground and re-metalled - the mains were in good condition. ICE in Birmingham (recommended by Brian Morgan) did these and also crack tested the rods and crank. The pistons and bores were OK, out to +40 so they were honed by ICE and new piston rings fitted. Dad overhauled the oil pump making up a new thicker bottom plate, all of these surfaces were surface ground to a perfect fit and all end play in the gears resolved.
All thrust bearings were replaced, crank and vertical camshaft train. Dad replaced the rocker shafts with new carbon steel. Also a new bottom bevel, the old one was cracked. The camshaft was worn out so a new BM1800 was acquired and fitted along with new rocker pads and thrust bearings, new valves and guides were also fitted. New block side plates and plates on the top that carry the oil return tubes. The cross shaft gears had been replaced with the later bronze and steel pattern. New rev counter drive gearbox fitted. The original water pump was restored by building up internally with weld and machining out to the correct dimensions, a new oversize stainless steel shaft was fitted. The radiator was rebuilt completely by vintage radiators, new shell and honeycomb. Later another honey comb was fitted, about 15 years ago with a 50% increase in cooling efficiency which means she doesn't boil on tick over.
At this time, Tony Stairs completely overhauled the magnetos. Dad did not touch the clutch or gearbox, Grandad had relined it at some point when he was running it. New started motor and dynamo brushes were fitted at some point. Dad swapped the 18" wheels for a set giving BE at the front and 21" well base at the back. These wheels were rebuilt with new splined centres, by a well known company in the London area. The steering wheel was beautifully restored by Vintage Steering wheels to retain the original surface pattern.
1992 Dad got the car on the road and has maintained her each year ever since, training me to be able to do a very light engine service!
Mostly used spring to summer for car rallies and forays into Wales. We have driven her several times from the West Midlands to Brooklands to take part in the BDC driving tests, and she’s even taken the family on holiday to the South coast. The mileage since rebuild is between 20 - 30,000 miles.
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