A remarkable 1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre ‘Le Mans’ Style Tourer will go under the H and H Classics hammer on 17th October 2018 (Estimate: £750,000 – £850,000).
The vintage Bentley has matching chassis and engine numbers and was supplied new to the saviour of Bentley Motors and three times Le Mans winner Captain Woolf Barnato.
Originally fitted with open Vanden Plas four-seater coachwork but since rebodied in the style of a Le Mans car.
Mechanically overhauled with thousands of pounds invested into its now exquisite restoration, this particular old girl could be the perfect vehicle to celebrate Bentley’s centenary next year.
W.O. Bentley on Woolf ‘Babe’ Barnato:
“The best driver we ever had and, I consider, the best British driver of his day. One who never made a mistake and always obeyed orders . . . He won Le Mans three times running, an achievement no one else has equaled.
“He was a formidable man, behind a glass of whisky, behind a driving wheel, and behind a boardroom table. He enjoyed himself with Bentley Motors, enjoyed the racing and the status it brought him in the public eye. In spite of 1931, and the bankruptcy, ‘Babe’ and I never quarreled.”
H and H Classics said of the Bentley:
Extensively restored by John James Pennington during the 1960s, chassis NX3457 was treated to a second thorough refurbishment some two decades later. Commissioned and overseen by Reg Parker, this more recent work included a mechanical rejuvenation by Wiltshire-based marque specialist Tony Townsend and the fitting of a new Vanden Plas-style ‘Le Mans’ body by H&H Coachworks of Henley, Oxfordshire.
Pleasingly retaining its original registration number ‘GU 1927’ (issued during March 1929), the Bentley has been extensively recommissioned by the vendor. As well as an engine overhaul, the 4.5 Litre has benefited from attention to its steering, brakes and suspension plus careful drivetrain alignment / balancing. The fettling has costs tens of thousands of pounds and taken hundreds of hours. The result is a W.O. Bentley with a pleasingly gentle patina and in rude mechanical health.
Next year marks Bentley’s Centenary and what better way to celebrate it than to acquire the 4.5 Litre of marque saviour and three times Le Mans winner, Woolf ‘Babe’ Barnato?