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|Bentley 4 1/4 Litre Fixed Head Coupe by H.J. Mulliner|
Frank Dale & Stepsons
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|Year : 1939 |
Make : Bentley
Model : 4 1/4 Litre
Coachbuilder : H.J. Mulliner
Body Type : Two Door Coupe
Colour : Black
Trim : Tan Leather
History : During the late 1920’s and early 1930’s 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 ½ 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 Derby’s 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 ¼ Litre model when production of the 3 ½ Litre unit ceased. Steady development continued throughout the cars production and in late 1938 even more power was obtained when the overdrive models were introduced, which were known as the MX/MR series cars. The original Bentley sales literature outlined the key improvements that improved the overdrive cars performance which included the provision of an overdrive gearbox which would allow the car to attain a greater maximum speed without exceeding maximum engine revolutions. The steering was of improved design, providing greater control under all conditions. Modified gear ratios and slight engine modifications also improved acceleration under certain conditions. The slower running engine coupled with the over drive top gear resulted in greater silence and smoothness. And finally centralised chassis lubrication and automatic shock absorbers with over-riding hand control were fitted. The MX/MR models were truly the ultimate incarnation on the Derby chassis and are still very much sought after some seventy years on. Just two hundred MX/MR chassis were created, finding their way to lucky owners with a variety of coachwork designs and are rightly considered to be collector’s items. Chassis No B121MX is the last of six fixed head coupes produced by H.J. Mulliner for the overdrive chassis and is believed to be a unique design amongst the six. It was originally purchased by Sir Stewart Goodwin of Sheffield in July of 1939. Golfers may remember Sir Goodwin as the financier of the 1957 Ryder Cup, which was won by the British team. In 1954 B121MX left his ownership and became the property of G Patterson of Maidenhead in Berkshire. It then belonged to the following individuals, Mr Jack Hunt from 1959 until 1963, Mr George Petrie Campbell from 1963 until 1965, Mr Nigel Alfred Cox from 1965 until 1977 when it was imported into Switzerland by Bruno Gasser of Zurich. Mr Gasser subsequently restored B121MX before it found its way back to England in 1997 and was supplied by Frank Dale & Stepsons for the first time to Dr David Grant. Whilst in Dr Grants ownership we maintained and improved the car in our workshops for him until we reacquired and supplied the car again just less than two years ago. It has again been maintained and serviced by our engineers during its most recent ownership. It is fitted with twin side mounted spare wheels, a sideways facing rear seat and comes complete with handbook and a full complement of tools that are stored in a large tray which is released with the original coach key which resides in the door pocket. This unique and exceptionally stylish fixed head coupe by H.J. Mulliner on the overdrive chassis is a pleasure to drive and draws admiring glances from fellow drivers wherever it goes. An excellent Derby Bentley in every respect.
Condition : In very good condition in every respect.
Technical Data : Four speed manual gearbox, 6 cylinder in-line engine, 4.25 litres displacement, 4257cc capacity. Servo-assisted brakes.
FOR MORE PHOTOS AND INFORMATION PLEASE GO TO WWW.FRANKDALE.COM
Sold on the 15.02.2013
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