1924 Bentley 3 Litre

Chassis 373 was completed in early 1924 and supplied to its first owner, Philip Rhodes of Montagu Place, London NW1, a well-connected enthusiast who owned no fewer than seven Bentleys between 1924 and 1928. The original engine was numbered '375', and that number is stamped to the crankcase and magneto turret of the unit currently installed. It would appear that '373' was originally bodied as a saloon with Weymann-type coachwork, possibly by the firm of Chalmer & Hoyer. The registration 'XP 9727' (a London number) was allocated on 10th January 1924 and the five-year guarantee issued on the 14th of that month. 

From Rhodes, 373 passed through a handful of London based owners with a one-year guarantee being issued on 24th June 1934. Prior to that date, in January 1934, '373' had been extensively rebuilt and updated by Bentley Motors. These works included fitting low-geared steering, a 'C'-type gearbox, a Spicer-pattern prop-shaft, and 4½-Litre-pattern Perrot shafts, while the engine was rebuilt with a late-type sump and a pair of SU HVG5 vertical carburettors. Dr Hay remarks that '373' may have belonged to Bentley Motors at this time, as the factory was engaged in buying and reconditioning chassis, re-bodying them before resale. '373' is known to have carried a two-door saloon body by Kingsway Motors, and it is possible that theirs was the one fitted in 1934. Service records relating to Mr Broad's period of ownership mention rebuilding the engine around a second-hand cylinder block in the latter half of 1938. No records typically exist for the war years. 

The next recorded owner is a Mr Bohane, who acquired the Bentley in 1945 and sold it some 15 years later to the celebrated watchmaker and car collector, George Daniels. George went on to own a very important number of Bentley's which included the famous Birkin single seater. At this time (circa 1960) the Kingsway saloon body was still fitted, while the Bentley had in the meantime acquired a Wilson pre-selector gearbox. Daniels sold '373' to Jim Pearce, who commenced a rebuild, removing the saloon body and Wilson 'box, and fitting an early 'A'-type gearbox (number '240') and an original Vanden Plas body (number '1078') that had just been removed from chassis number '697'. 

In September 1966, '373' was briefly registered to Nigel Robin Dyer, passing into the previous family's long term ownership in October of that year.  Recent works saw the fuel system, brakes, wheels, wiring, etc overhauled in 2016 by James E Pearce of Wisborough Green, West Sussex while in 2017 the engine was rebuilt by marque specialist, William Medcalf. Invoices for these works totalling £12,750 and £47,500 respectively are on file together with others. Additional documentation consists of an old-style continuation logbook (issued 1947), the 1966 purchase receipt, expired MoTs dating back to 1967, a V5C Registration Certificate, and a Hay Report. A wonderful opportunity to acquire a beautiful 'W O' Bentley, benefiting from long-term family ownership and significant refurbishment by two of the best specialists in the business. 


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