An excellent and much-enjoyed W.O. Bentley documented by Clare Hay with its original engine, gearbox, and coachwork. Well maintained, and proven on numerous tours and events. A superb choice for the Vintage Bentley enthusiast.
With its evocative original Vanden Plas coachwork and honest, well-earned patina, this 1929 Bentley 4 ½ Lire, represents the quintessential Vintage Bentley. Chassis number FB3317 is a superb motorcar that comes to us with an extensive history file complete with a Clare Hay Report, factory service records, and extensive receipts. Bentleys of this era were generally driven hard and fast by their enthusiastic owners. As a result, very few survive intact with the factory coachwork, engines, and other major components. Nearly a century of racing, fast road use, and the occasional prang will take its toll on any car, even a famously robust Bentley 4 ½, so it is a particularly special occasion to encounter such a well-documented car with many important original components.
According to Dr. Hay’s exhaustive research, FB3317 received the Vanden Plas standard sports four-seater body, serial number 1553. Upon completion from the coachbuilder, it returned to Bentley for final testing and was first delivered in January 1929 to F.W. Howarth of The Danes, Higher Crumpshall, Manchester. Mr. Howarth was quite the Bentley man, as he also owned a 3-Litre Arnold Saloon, a 4 ½ J. Gurney Nutting Saloon, and a 1930 4 ½ Litre Supercharged Vanden Plas coupe. Factory service records show the car returned to the factory for repairs following a minor road accident in 1930, where it received a new radiator with a stone guard and a racing-style quick-release radiator cap.