Chassis B 119 MX was completed by Bentley Motors in early 1939 and despatched to Messrs. Park Ward to be bodied as a two-door Coupe, subsequently described in the March 1940 issue of Motorsport magazine
Fast forward 60 years and this fine car was chosen by two chums as the basis for an exciting project in the early 2000's
In 1937 M. Andre Embiricos of Paris charged Bentley, in fact directly he asked the Board Director Walter Sleator, to design a motorcar which could whisk him around Europe in true luxury whilst at the same time he required something truly striking to look at also of high performance
The Parisian carrosserie specialists, Pourtout were to commission what must have been in period a simply stupendous automobile, using their young stylist George Paulin, who created this breath-taking streamlined form
More Delage than Bentley, it was an aerodynamic masterpiece - it was amazingly at the time, tested in wind tunnels both in France and Britain
Obviously when the car was still quite new, World War II intervened, after which with a new owner, she competed 3 times at Le Mans, finishing as high as 6th place in 1947 - amazing for a normal road specification motorcar to compete at all, let alone to be competitive too
The car has survived to this day, splendidly restored and residing in one of the World's greatest collections, in a fine Museum in California
Since when he has, quite rightly, never offered her for sale
On this basis our (I know them as well) two chums thought that if they can't buy the original version, well then, we will have to build our own exact version, using their chassis B 119 MX as the basis and therewith the project was undertaken, without a question of funding or time required
This was to be the quintessential embodiment of the original
Funnily enough our chums came to the same Devon Engineering company which I had used in the 1990's, to commission 10 rather different Bentley's - however the mould was set and Peterson Engineering was on the map
Nowadays his reputation travels far and wide, or indeed Globally, and the quality of his works is second to none
Without being a complete tool room copy, it would be hard to tell the original from this embodiment - ash frame clothed with aluminium paneling, 18" inch wheels, soft hide throughout the interior, Wilton carpets, Marchel lamps and side repeater lights all add to the authentic look and feeling of this car
Since completion in 2006 she has been driven and tested by none other than Robert Coucher of Octane magazine, and she was campaigned in various Concours events
Thereafter she was snapped up by Jay Kay, who knows a fine car, and then he sold her to an American gentleman - again he couldn't prize the original from the long term owner and when Jay was selling B 119 MX, he knew this was the only alternative, bought her and shipped her back to his home in the US of A
Sadly he died so B 119 MX was again offered for sale, this time by his estate through an Auction in California
Another chum, who had seen her upon her first ever showing at Blenheim Palace, immediately after completion, was so overcome that he purchased an 'R'' type Continental on the same day and then 11 years later he found himself following the Auction (in the middle of the night) as the Bentley "crossed the block" in California
It was one of the last lots and he didn't have much competition............lesson, always ensure your lot is not at the end!
Whereupon he shipped her back to Blighty, re-registered her with FLK 966 (the same registration she has had since 1939 by the way) and had Jonathan Wood give her the complete "once over"
Still almost in the same condition she was over 10 years ago, it is clear she has been cossetted by her very few owners within their collections
Since Jonathan gave her the thumbs up, she as been used for rallies and tours and even at Classic Le Mans where she received the Concours Award for most Elegant Car in the Show
A 4 day tour of Yorkshire was completed without hiccup in 2018
Again this year she was driven with great vigour and success on the Ecosse Tours in the Highlands of Scotland (the main picture is her overlooking Lock Ness)
So, an original Bentley overdrive chassis series, with a change of body - original engine (W9BC), gearbox, bulkhead and etc so only a change of body - one of the prettiest and most striking of designs, ever
I personally drove 300 of 350 miles over the Tour in Scotland and I can simply suggest that she is the closest thing to drive as an 'R' Type Continental
Priced, therefore, similarly as an 'R' Type Continental in today's market
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