Bonhams, Quail Lodge: ‘Blower’ Bentley hits the multi-millions

The opening auction of the Monterey week ‘Big Three’ saw Bonhams back at Quail Lodge for a Friday daytime sale that headlined with the 1931 4½ Litre Supercharged Le Mans (‘Blower’) Bentley, selling – unsurprisingly – for the substantial sum of $4,647,500.

One of only three of the 50 production Blowers recorded on the factory’s build sheets as having a ‘Le Mans’ chassis, collectors have had to wait more than 55 years to get their hands on this car, MS 3944, since it was snared by renowned Bentley enthusiast Charles RJ Noble on 23 October 1957 – and never resold, till now.

Noble was a dedicated collector of Bentleys who, in his lifetime, acquired no fewer than four of the  limited run of Blowers, along with an ex-Tim Birkin Speed Six and a very special 4½ that had originally been commissioned by Berris Harcourt-Wood.

Today, this historic Bentley changed hands for a very considerable sum, nigh-on £3m; although there were those who expected its price to soar higher still.