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1938 Bentley 4 1/4 Litre

Following Bentley's acquisition by Rolls-Royce the Bentley name continued, now largely representing more sporting models of the mid-range of Rolls-Royce automobiles. Production was distinguished by the name, "The Silent Sports Car," and Bentleys of this period appealed to owner-drivers who appreciated performance, style, comfort and good handling. This Bentley was delivered as a rolling chassis order to an owner, Alfredo Mihura, living at the posh Hotel George V, then and now the prestige address in Paris, and consigned to coachbuilder deVillars. DeVillars had been started in 1925 by Frank Jay Gould, son of the American financier (or "Robber Baron" to some), to build coachwork for family and a circle of close friends. It excelled in quality and in design, but bodied few cars. To have deVillars body your chassis with its bespoke work, high quality materials and craftsmanship was implicit acceptance into an elite social circle. Bentley records indicate Mihura originally specified a 4-door sedan but the body on this car, chassis B1LE, is a two-door of unusually refined silhouette. Its proportions and features are integrated, suggesting that the coachbuilder convinced him to choose a more refined coupe design, or perhaps an error on the part of Bentley's record keeper. It had a 45-year history with a doctor in Spain before being acquired by the prior owner in 2008. All indications are that it has been in this very attractive configuration since it was built and the engine, T6BT, is as specified on the Bentley chassis record. Finished in red and black with black leather upholstery, it has abundant fine wood detailing in the interior, a recessed, covered rear-mounted spare wheel and tire, polished wheel discs, Marchal Aerolux headlights, Lucas horns and a sporty folding sunroof over nearly the entire extent of the roof. It is in very attractive condition, although not Concours, and represents an opportunity to acquire a distinctive, coachbuilt, sporting and attractive Bentley 4 1/4 Liter that lends itself to long distance tours and other events with the flexibility of fully-enclosed 4-passenger coupe coachwork with the option of opening the sunroof for fresh air motoring on fine days.


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