• Year of manufacture 
  • Car type 
    Convertible / Roadster
  • Chassis number 
  • Engine number 
  • Drive 
  • Condition 
    Original Condition
  • Interior colour 
  • Interior type 
  • Number of doors 
  • Number of seats 
  • Location
    United Kingdom
  • Exterior colour 
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1923 Bentley 3 Litre TT Tourer.
Chassis No: 304
Engine No: 303
UK Registration No: PD 6469

The original Bentley Motors Ltd. was founded in 1919 by W.O. Bentley. Throughout the 1920’s the company produced cars of outstanding quality and performance. During that decade the marque also became associated with some of the greatest achievements in motorsport history. Bentley was victorious at Le Mans and many other international racing events. Sadly by 1931, despite producing some of the greatest cars of the period with legendary success on the track, the company found it impossible to continue and a receiver was appointed to wind up the business and sell off the assets. The enthusiasm shown for the Vintage Bentley among motorsport enthusiasts, however, remains as strong today as it was during those years.

The first model the original Bentley Motors Ltd. produced was the 3 Litre. It was offered in various chassis lengths with a view to offering the customer a chassis capable of carrying formal coachwork such as a saloon or limousine (normally utilising the 10’10’’ chassis) or a more sporting open tourer which normally used the 9’ 9½” chassis. In 1922 Bentley enjoyed early success on the race track at the Tourist Trophy event held on the Isle Of Man, the “TT”. Bentley entered three cars and took 2nd, 4th, and 5th place overall. To take advantage of the publicity Bentley offered the TT Replica model which was later to become the Speed Model. The early TT Reps like this car had rear wheel brakes only and utilised the 5 jet Smiths Bentley carburettor, but by 1924 4 wheel brakes became standard equipment along with the twin sloper SU carburettors and many other improvements.

This car was made in June 1923 and originally would be to the earlier specification, i.e rear wheel brakes only and fitted with the single 5 jet Smiths Bentley carburettor. The car carried standard Vanden Plas Sports Tourer coachwork which would at that early stage have been a metal panelled body rather than the later fabric covered design. It is recorded on the factory service record as a “Sporting four seater by Vanden Plas”. The Vanden Plas body no. was 3265, and it was green with a “scratched aluminium bonnet”. The first owner was recorded as Mr. I Pearman Smith of Weybridge in Surrey.

The factory service record for the car is extensive and complete up to 1937, but more importantly it records, in 1926, while in the hands of the second owner, Ivor McClure, it had a considerable amount of work done to update it to 1926 specification along with an engine rebuild. The upgrades included 4 wheel brakes with the later (Speed Six) brakes drums, the later twin SU “sloper” carburettors, later type 8 leaf front springs, later type crankshaft, and a whole list of adjustments, improvements and upgrades. This brought the car up to the latest Speed Model specification.

In common with many cars there are no service records from 1937 to 1946 (the WW11 years), but the records from then up to the present day are complete. Interestingly, the owner in 1946 was J.B. Knight Macclesfield who at the same time owned YW5758 the “Works 500 mile 4.5 Litre Le Mans Team car. Both cars were entered for the first a BRDC race at Silverstone in but 304 had a road traffic accident on the way to the meeting. This necessitated new coachwork and 304 was fitted with a Gurney Nutting tourer body from another Bentley (chassis no: PH1468), essentially the same design as the original body, but with better Gurney Nutting door catches and seat runners!

In 1957 after passing through three more owners the car was purchased by Doctor Frank Newton a young doctor whose family have kept the car until the present day. There are extensive mechanical records with the car during his ownership, including a huge file of documents, photos, and records. The records include many invoices from Hoffman & Burton, one of the highly respected firms in Vintage Bentley circles. The car is excellent on the road and drives beautifully.

It’s rare to find a genuine “matching numbers” car with such extensive records and even rarer to find such a car that has not been on the market for nearly 70 years!

Charles Prince Classic Cars
United Kingdom
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