An incredible 1926 Bentley 3-Litre Red Label Speed Model Tourer with coachwork by Vanden Plas from the Bursville Collection will go under the hammer November 21st at the RAF Museum Hendon.
Complete with known ownership history and residing in dry storage since 1960, the 1926 Bentley 3-Litre Red Label Speed Model Tourer was, according to leading marque authority Clare Hay’s definitive work, ‘Bentley – The Vintage Years’, completed in April 1926 and first owned by J W C McLaren.
Chassis number ‘PH1469‘ left the factory fitted with engine number ‘PH1470‘ (the same as it has today) and was registered as ‘GD 2250‘. One of only 513 Speed Models built, it was erected on the standard 9’ 9½” wheelbase chassis and carried a four-seat tourer body by Vanden Plas.
Bentley 3-Litre Military Owners
Subsequent owners were Lt Col Sir Thomas Bilbe Robinson who acquired the Bentley in 1929, then in 1932 passed the vehicle to another military gentleman: Flying Officer John Heber Percy, who was based at RAF Gosport in Hampshire.
John Percy was one of the first RAF airmen whose life was saved by a parachute when in 1930 he successfully bailed out of his stricken Armstrong Whitworth Siskin fighter following a mid-air collision. He went on to enjoy an illustrious career in the RAF, culminating in service with the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Powers in Europe (SHAPE) in Paris after WW2. John Percy owned four Bentleys between 1932 and the mid-1950s.
Bentley Motors service records (copies on file) show that following an accident in April 1930, ‘PH1469’ was repaired by the works and fitted with various new front suspension and steering components. The last service entry is dated 1937. The next known custodian, from 1947, was a Major J C Jackson, whose success in the BDC’s 1949 Kensington Gardens Rally is commemorated by a plaque on the dashboard. Following Major Jackson’s ownership, the car was exported to the USA.
In 1957 the Bentley was purchased in the USA by Parker Snyder of Ohio, who drove the 3-Litre for a couple of summers before consigning it to his newly built garage in 1960. Benefiting from Major Jackson’s long-term ownership, the Bentley must have been in excellent condition when stored.
The car remained in storage until purchased earlier this year by the current vendor, a long-standing member of the Rolls-Royce and Bentley community with a large collection of pre-war cars. Presented in ‘barn find’ condition, it represents an exciting opportunity for the dedicated Bentley enthusiast to return one of W O’s wonderful creations to the road. Please note that the UK number plate in the photographs will need to be re-applied for.
The illustrious Bentley is being offered by Bonhams at their Collector’s Motor Cars and Automobilia Sale, RAF Museum Hendon (Est: £280,000 – 325,000).
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More information on the car and bidding can be found via this link.