1938 Bentley 4 1/4 Litre

Concealed Drophead Coupe by H.J. Mulliner

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1938
  • Car type 
    Convertible / Roadster
  • Lot number 
    37
  • Drive 
    RHD
  • Condition 
    Original condition
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Black
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

WITHDRAWN

In 1934 H.J. Mulliner first showed his revolutionary «concealed drophead» design on a 3 ½ litre Bentley chassis at the London Motor Show. The lowered hood was completely concealed under a flap, leaving a most elegant and clean line, undisturbed by the bulk of the hood fabric. Even the spare wheel was hidden and the ponton wings without running boards provided an elegant line unequalled by any of the competition. With the arrival of the 4 ¼ litre chassis, the design received minor alterations such as the spare wheel now integrated into the boot cover, and discrete running boards fitted. Only six chassis received elements from both designs, namely the concealed spare wheel and small running boards to facilitate entry. One of the six, Chasis B173LE was imported through Basle customs on the 29th September 1938 and delivered through AMAG in Zurich to its lucky first owner, textile manufacturer Walter Schoeller. He was a rather prominent figure, being the president of Grasshopper sports club from 1934 to 1976, resulting in his nickname “Mr. GC”. He must have been rather fond of his “silent Sportscar” because it remained registered in his name at least until 1960, when the trail went cold and the Bentley disappeared until 2005 when it was discovered by an enthusiast in the proverbial shed. The odometer showed a mere (and perfectly believable) 81’823 km and the car was in remarkably good original condition, still with largely original paint and original leather interior. Because of the extended period of inactivity, the original engine (No. E2BJ) received a complete (and well documented) overhaul between October 2005 and July 2006. After registering the car in August 2006, it formed part of the collection of its finder before being sold to the current owner 3 years ago. This Bentley 4 ¼ litre (much more sought after than the 3 ½) not only represents a lovely piece of history it is also one of the most beautiful prewar designs anywhere and those Bentleys really are an absolute delight to drive. It will be a most welcome entrant at any Rolls-Royce or Bentley meeting and will find open doors to any Concours event the new owner wishes to enter. The most recent Swiss veteran MOT was completed in February 2017 and this delightful and most elegant Bentley is, in all respects, “on the button”.