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Little Classics News: 14 June 2014

Classic Rollers and Bentleys Lead the H&H Rockingham Sale

HH Classic Car Auction - 1925 Bentley 3/4.5 TourerClassic Bentleys and Rolls Royces lead the charge at H&H’s forthcoming classic car sale at Rockingham Castle on 21 June, held in association with the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club.

One of the highlights is a James Young-bodied two-door coupé on a Bentley S1 chassis (below), delivered new in 1957. The Glasso Green car was ordered with a sunroof, power steering, Reutter reclining front seats and very ‘period’ extra-large pipe ashtrays front and rear. It’s estimated at £75,000 - 90,000.

H&H Classic Car Auction - 1957 Bentley S1 James Young Coupe

Another bespoke order is Freestone & Webb’s 1957 Earl’s Court Motor Show car, a 1957 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud (below). The £5,000 - 7,000 ‘barn-find’ carries body design 3191, a six-light limousine.

Classic Car Auction - 1957 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud

Kensington-based Harold Radford & Co. offered a wide range of modifications to cars for clients. Lot 52, the RHD 1956 Bentley S1 Radford Saloon (below), has spent much of its life in America, but it’s still very complete, right down to the cigarette case housed in the rear armrest and a notebook and pencil set. It also features popular Radford modifications such as a boot-mounted picnic table and folding seats – the front Reutters folding flat to form a bed. Estimated at £20,000 - 24,000, the sporting saloon is finished in timeless black-over-silver with red hide.

Classic Car Auction - 1956 Bentley S1 Radford Saloon

Another ex-Motor Show star is a 1953 Bentley R-Type H.J. Mulliner Lightweight Sports Saloon (£20,000-25,000). One of only 34 made, the chassis was built to accept either manual or automatic transmission and is resplendent in Nabha Green, Nabha being the codename of a Mulliner-bodied Phantom IV privately commissioned by the Duke of Edinburgh, which helped Rolls-Royce obtain the Royal Warrant.

1953 Bentley R-Type H.J. Mulliner Lightweight Sports Saloon

Perhaps even more tempting, not least for classic rally enthusiasts, is a 1925 Bentley 3/4.5 Tourer (top and below) with a fascinating history and a wonderful patina. Chassis 1150 began life as a 3-Litre Light Tourer, fitted with open four-seater coachwork by Freestone & Webb. Service records list early custodians in London, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Narbeth and Kettering, and indicate that parts for the classic car were sent to garages in Caterham, Exeter and Jersey before the factory lost touch with it in 1936.

1925 Bentley 3/4.5 Tourer

A continuation buff logbook (the first was 'torn-up by mistake') indicates that it was re-registered for road use as EVB 740 in June 1946, having acquired two-seater bodywork and a 4.5-Litre engine from a car rumoured to have been in Kenya from 1937-1969. H.M. Bentley (W.O.'s brother) had started creating such 3/4.5 Litre cars by the late 1930s, so Chassis 1150 was perhaps converted in that period before being laid-up during WW2.

1925 Bentley 3/4.5 Tourer engineSubsequent owners included The Hon Mrs Heather King of Lincolnshire (daughter of Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell and wife of W/Cmdr John Hall King) and 'Jack' Williamson of Northamptonshire, a well-known Bentley racer, who notified the County Council of a further engine change in April 1955, although no alteration was made to the 25HP rating.

1925 Bentley 3/4.5 Tourer sideReportedly restored by William Sykes and Bill Rockell in the early 1970s, Chassis 1150 was returned to 3-Litre power (using an engine from a 1925 Speed Model), rebodied as a Vanden Plas-style Le Mans Tourer and incorrectly re-registered as KU 7678. By 1977 it was in Swedish ownership; some 10 years later it was fettled by marque specialist Richard C. Moss, loaned to Benjafield Club member Philip Strickland for use on the 1997 Pingst Rally and entrusted it to the Bentley Boys for stripping and repainting shortly before the Millennium.

1925 Bentley 3/4.5 Tourer interiorIt was then purchased by specialist dealer Stanley Mann, who had it inspected by Brian Fenn of the Bentley Drivers Club and marque expert Michael Hay, who checked and confirmed its chassis number so that it could be issued with an age-related registration.

1925 Bentley 3/4.5 Tourer rearSold to its current owner in January 2003, it was returned to 3/4.5 Litre specification two years later by specialist engineers John Ambler & Son, with a new block and appropriate internals enhanced by a four-star diff gear and Payne electric overdrive. It has since been enjoyed on numerous rallies across the world with no mechanical issues.

It is estimated to fetch £300,000-350,000 at the auction on June 21.

Other notable lots include a 1922 Renault 10CV Tourer (£12,000-14,000), a 1970 Maserati Indy 4.2 (£35,000-45,000), a 1969 Citroen ID21 Safari Estate (£6,500-8,500), a 1965 Mini Marcos (£5,500-7,000) and a remarkably original, barn-find 1966 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 4.2 Roadster that spent several years in Japan and displays an unwarranted 47,699km (29,638 miles) on its odometer (£50,000-60,000).


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