1927 Bentley 3-Litre Speed Model Sports Roadster
Registration no. JO 377
Chassis no. TN1559
* Originally a Weymann saloon by Gurney Nutting
* Substantially known ownership history
* Present ownership since 1998
* Recent extensive professional refurbishment
With characteristic humility 'W O' was constantly amazed by the enthusiasm of later generations for the products of Bentley Motors Limited, and it is testimony to the soundness of his engineering design skills that so many of his products have survived. From the humblest of beginnings in a mews garage off Baker Street, London in 1919 the Bentley rapidly achieved fame as an exciting fast touring car, well able to compete with the best of European and American sports cars in the tough world of motor sport in the 1920s. Bentley's domination at Le Mans in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930 is legendary, and one can only admire the Herculean efforts of such giants as Woolf Barnato, Jack Dunfee, Tim Birkin and Sammy Davis, consistently wrestling the British Racing Green sports cars to victory.
W O Bentley proudly unveiled the new 3-litre car bearing his name on Stand 126 at the 1919 Olympia Motor Exhibition, the prototype engine having fired up for the first time just a few weeks earlier. Bentley's four-cylinder 'fixed head' engine incorporated a single overhead camshaft, four-valves per cylinder and a bore/ stroke of 80x149mm. Twin ML magnetos provided the ignition and power was transmitted via a four-speed gearbox with right-hand change. The pressed-steel chassis started off with a wheelbase of 9' 9½" then adopted dimensions of 10' 10" ('Standard Long') in 1923, the shorter frame being reserved for the TT Replica and subsequent Speed Model. Rear wheel brakes only were employed up to 1924 when four-wheel Perrot-type brakes were introduced.
In only mildly developed form, this was the model that was to become a legend in motor racing history and which, with its leather-strapped bonnet, classical radiator design and British Racing Green livery, has become the archetypal Vintage sports car.
Early success in the 1922 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, when Bentleys finished second, fourth, and fifth to take the Team Prize, led to the introduction of the TT Replica (later known as the Speed Model) on the existing 9' 9½" wheelbase, short standard chassis. Identified by the Red Label on its radiator, the Speed Model differed by having twin SU 'sloper' carburettors, a higher compression ratio, different camshaft and the close-ratio A-type gearbox, the latter being standard equipment prior to 1927 when the C-type 'box was adopted. These engine changes increased maximum power from the standard 70 to 80bhp and raised top speed to an impressive 90mph. Other enhancements included the larger (11-gallon) fuel tank and (usually) André Hartford shock absorbers. Bentley made approximately 1, 600 3-Litre models, the majority of which was bodied by Vanden Plas with either open tourer or saloon coachwork.
According to leading marque authority Dr Clare Hay's definitive work, Bentley: The Vintage Years, chassis number 'TN1559' was completed in January 1927 and left the factory fitted with engine number '1566'. Originally bodied by Gurney Nutting as a Weymann-type saloon and first registered 'YE 1140', the Bentley was first owned by Captain W G Horne. The rest of its history prior to WW2 is uncertain, but at the war's end the car was purchased from Roy's in Kenilworth by a Mr Lloyd, who owned a metalworking business in nearby Leamington Spa. It was claimed that the owner previous to Mr Lloyd had been one of the late Sir Henry Segrave's mechanics and that he intended to race the car. He had removed the original saloon body, which was not included in the sale. Very nicely done, the current lightweight two-seater body dates from the immediately post-war period and was built by the car's then owner.
In the ensuing years the Bentley passed into the ownership of Tony Judd, who raced it, destroying the original engine when it threw a rod. The engine was replaced with the current unit (number '343') which dates from 1923. Tony sold the Bentley through Stanley Mann Racing to Mr David Jenkins. David Jenkins lived near Cardiff and enjoyed owning the car for around four years. He also owned a Tiger Moth, which he flew from Rhys airfield, and lost his life as the result of a flying accident. During his ownership David Jenkins twice drove the Bentley to Le Mans with his wife to witness the 24-hour race. The current vendor bought the car, via a broker, from his widow in May 1998.
During the vendor's early ownership he too drove the Bentley to Le Mans to watch the 24-hour race (in 2000 and 2001) and also drove it to Bruges, Belgium on a private tour with a group of 12 Bentleys. At the lunch stop, Jimmy Medcalf stated that the car had been travelling at a respectable 70-75mph on the motorway, while his brother Bill Medcalf, another Bentley Drivers' Club stalwart, remarked on how pretty it is.
The only major mechanical work carried out concerns the crankshaft bearings, which have been re-white-metalled by renowned engineer, Arthur Archer of Great Dunmow. The body and chassis, though, have recently undergone extensive renovation by SJD Classic Restorations (Steve Downs) of Southminster, Essex. SJD disassembled the entire car, removing all bodywork from the chassis and stripping it of all mechanical components. The chassis and axle assemblies were then sand-blasted, prepared, primed and repainted.
The aluminium body panels were removed from the timber frame and any rotten elements replaced. All bodywork was stripped back to bare metal and any damaged or corroded sections cut out and replaced with new aluminium. All panelling edges were replaced and the body tub skin refitted to the repaired frame. The wings, bonnet and scuttle were similarly repaired with new metal, as were the dickey seat lids, following which all bodywork was prepared, primed and repainted prior to refitting to the chassis. Other works carried out included repairing the wiring loom; fitting new shock absorbers and wheels; and re-plating the nickel brightwork, repairing it as necessary. Dated October 2019, SJD's invoice for £43, 602 is on file.
According to the vendor: "The car has bags and bags of charisma and is a great joy to drive. It goes fast thanks to the lightweight body and stops quickly as well! In its current condition it has been described as 'resplendent'". 'TN1559' has also featured in four editions of the BDC Review (details available).
A wonderful opportunity to acquire a unique 'W O' Speed Model Bentley, benefiting from recent extensive professional refurbishment.
£200, 000 - 250, 000
Vendor Score Total: 75/ 100
Bidders should note that the automated 100-point Seller's Assessment is provided by each Seller at the point of consignment using the guidelines below, and is not provided, assessed or verified by Bonhams MPH. Accordingly Customers (Bidders) are on notice that each vehicle is offered "as is / as seen" subject to the Conditions of Sale for the auction, and Customers (Bidders) are strongly recommended to view the Lot(s) being offered, before bidding, in order to satisfy themselves as to their condition; Bonhams MPH will not entertain disputes over Sellers' Assessments.
Key for sellers' assessments:
1/ 5 POOR. A project vehicle | Requires urgent attention | Damaged | Parts missing
2/ 5 AVERAGE. Useable condition | Requires some attention | Light damage
3/ 5 GOOD. Drive away | Presents well | Good history file | Drives well
4/ 5 VERY GOOD. Well restored | Running and driving with no noticeable faults | Sound throughout
5/ 5 EXCELLENT. Concours condition | Beautifully presented | Driving very well
EXTERIOR TOTAL: 18/ 25
Body Work: 4
Chrome/ Plastics/ Trim: 4
Wheels/ Tyres: 3
INTERIOR TOTAL: 14/ 20
Dashboard/ Door cards/ Carpets: 3
ENGINE TOTAL: 16/ 20
Mechanical components: 4
Under Bonnet: 4
RUNNING GEAR TOTAL: 16/ 20
Gearbox/ Clutch: 4
ELECTRICAL TOTAL: 8/ 10
Ancillary components: 4
Main components: 4
Car History File: 3
This advert has now been removed through sale or otherwise.
Please see the list below for similar live adverts
Car & Classic Auctions Let us help you sell your car
Limited in number, 'big bore’ Bentley, fastidiously maintain2 days
Ending: 11th May 20:15
Sledgehammer performance in unrestrained luxury!3 days
Ending: 12th May 20:00
Ultimate British icon with luxury and power in spades10th May 17:00
Delivered new to Sweden, only 126.000Km, Very nice and well-kept. All documentation with manual service history and original tools. Newly serviced and MOT, and new tires. ABS brakes ACC / Air conditioning, Central lock, CD stereo, Power windows front and rear, Power adjustable door mirrors, Electric adjustable seat ...
- 1st Mar 2021
Rare 4 Digit Number Plate 3 UBB It is on My Bentley so I will put it on retention for you and I will pay all the fees to the DVLA.
- 4th Apr 2021
1959 was an important year in the history of Rolls-Royce and Bentley when looking at the mechanical development of the companies. The series one engine had effectively run its course by this point and could not be developed any further. The approximate 160bhp output was more than sufficient but due to pressures and competition ...
- 2nd Mar 2021
Please see my foot note Welcome thank you for opening my advert. Those of you that have seen my advert before will recall my car is for sale or exchange, i favoured aBentley Anarge whilst the love of my life favoured a 1954 MG TF or TR2. So there you have it! This beautifull Bentley Continental GT Reg 2005 finished ...
- 18th Mar 2021
This 1956 Bentley S1 Continental by Park Ward is presented in Blue coachwork, with a tasteful Olive leather upholstered interior. The 4.9 litre, six cylinder engine is a delight to drive and use and to this day is still a wonderful piece of engineering. The S1 benefits from having a higher compression, more efficient cylinder ...
- 17th Mar 2021
The S1 Continental engine had effectively run its course by 1959 and could not be developed any further. The approximate 160bhp power output was more than sufficient but due to pressures and competition elsewhere Rolls-Royce sought out an improved power unit to deliver more speed whilst retaining the Bentley Continentals ...
- 30th Apr 2021
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 ...
- 27th Feb 2021
A Stunning Bentley S2 Finished in the original Black Pearl over Shell Grey Metallic with Silver Grey leather interior. Owned from 1982 by the present owners uncle who inherited the car and recommissioned it after 10 years of storage. MOT in 2018 with no advisories. Sunroof. Hand painted Red fine lines. New Headlining. ...
- 19th Apr 2021
1962 saw the introduction of the S3 variant of the factory bodied standard steel saloon and at first glance it would appear that the all new S3 was merely an S2 with different headlamps. The introduction of the twin headlamps was clearly the most obvious change, but the differences did not end there. Further changes included ...
- 22nd Mar 2021
The tremendous success Bentley enjoyed with the R Type Continental continued onto the S Series chassis in late 1955 with a range of new bodies available to collectors. The Park Ward fixed head coupe was originally the brain child of legendary coachwork designer John Blatchley who had been largely responsible for the styling ...
- 24th Mar 2021
Bentley MKVI Park Ward Convertible Presented in dual tone grey with soft slate blue leather piped in deep squadron blue with matching blue mohair hood and carpets. Radio, hydraulic windows and hood. Original hand books, complete original tool kit, extensive history portfolio including the original order and invoice ...
- 6th Mar 2021
We are delighted to present for sale this beautiful Bentley Brooklands. This example is finished in Barnato Green with Cream Leather upholstery and Dark Green secondary hide with Burr Elm interior trim. The specification of the car consists of Air Conditioning, Headlining in Hide, Front Seat Arm Rest Stowage Areas, Veneered ...
- 4th May 2021
First registered June 1930. GJ 6301 Original UK Registration: GJ 6301 Current UK Registration: GJ 6301 Original Chassis number: 3665 Current Chassis number: 3665 Original Engine Number: 3661 Current Engine number: 3661 Originally bodied with a Saloon Body by Maythorn, Later rebodied with a “Townshend” ...
- 4th May 2021
Black and Grey with Black hood and Grey hide upholstery. Very good well maintained condition with extensive history. Good long distance touring car.
- 3rd Apr 2021
After 9 years of the first post-war Bentley, the MK VI / R-Type, the illustrious clientele curiously awaited the successor. In 1955, the Bentley S 1 was introduced. Conservative, with a separate chassis but with a stylish line by John Bentley. The S 1 met the taste of clientele exactly. Noteworthy: more Bentley S 1s were ...
- 17th Mar 2021
A chance to Buy the most Luxurious Sports Saloons of the 1960s in the Bentley Centenary Year. Finished in Masons Black over Shell Grey and sumptuous claret leather interior this model has everything. From titled owners to full engine rebuild. Full history and ready for the summer with all the luxury features including ...
- 29th Mar 2021