1935 Bentley 3 1/2 Litre Open Tourer by Corsica For Sale
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. Based in Corsica Street, Islington, London, Corsica were better known for coachwork on vintage Bentleys and Bugattis, producing only three open tourer bodies for Derby chassis. One body was fitted from new, to Chassis No B79JY and two further cars were re-bodied in this style, those being B198GA and also B116DG, the car we are currently offering for sale. The three Corsica bodies were built in a style very reminiscent of the Vanden Plas (Malcolm Campbell) style tourer, with cut away doors and flowing lines. Chassis No B116DG was completed in early 1935, originally fitted with a Park Ward saloon body. The Corsica coachwork it still has today was fitted to Chassis No B116DG and in 1966 the owner at the time, Mr Gavin Maxwell the author of The Ring of Bright Water, sold the car to Mr Stanley Sedgwick, the famed owner of OLGA, the prototype Bentley R Type Continental. Mr Sedgwick then gifted Chassis No B116DG to his daughter and son in law and suggested the car should be restored. Over the following years Chassis No B116DG was completely dismantled and overhauled from the chassis up. The coachwork was restored and a new hood and interior were fitted to complement the new dashboard. The works were completed in 1986 where the car won first in class at the BDC Concours at Kensington Gardens. In the ensuing years, the present owners have maintained Chassis No B116DG beautifully and enjoyed numerous tours across Europe. An overdrive has been fitted to add further enjoyment which is operated from a pull switch beneath the dashboard. The car comes complete with a very large history file, all weather cover for the cabin, side screens, handbook, tools and numerous other accessories. Available for sale for the first time in over fifty years, Chassis No B116DG is one of the most charming pre-war Bentleys we have offered for sale in recent times. It performs with great distinction and should be driven in person to be properly appreciated.
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