1930 Bentley 4 1/2 Liter

Sports Tourer, body by Vanden Plas
Gooding & Company's latest online auction averages $1.28M per car
Thursday, 28 January - Friday, 5 February 2021
Sale Price
$891,000 - $1,234,000
Est. Range
5 February 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Visually maintained, largely original
Gooding & Company
Auction House
Chassis no. AD3668; Engine no. AD3666. Green with black top over green leather. RHD. 4,398/105hp four cylinder, green painted wire wheels, tonneau cover, rear-mounted spare, radiator mascot, 4-spoke Bakelite steering wheel, running board low mounted tool box, heavy crank specification engine, "C" type gearbox, Bentley & Draper friction shock absorbers, 10' 10" wheelbase chassis.

Evaluation: A total of 720 4 1/2 Litre cars were produced between 1927 and 1931, the 4-cylinders simply being a 2-pot reduction of the famed Speed Six. This one had its frame replaced at Bentley in 1936 after an accident with one described in the catalogue description as “most likely new, unnumbered old stock.” Eventually acquired by Bill Spear in 1951, then passed to George Waterman, Jr. in 1956. Returned to the U.K. in 1973. Inspected by Dr. Clare Hay in 2013 and found to be the original bodywork, engine, gearbox, both axles and bonnet.

Imperfect two-pack paint with chips and swirl lines. The body fabric looks aged and faded. The headlamp rims have been sprayed over in body paint and it doesn’t sit right. The windscreen frame is dull. The running board underslung toolboxes are superb. The wheels and tyres are very well presented and look recently refreshed. The chassis look straight and original.

The seat leather is good but aged. The carpets disappoint with heel wear near the pedals. The engine looked correct and well kept. It doesn’t appear ever to have been fully restored, just maintained as needed and used as W.O. Bentley would have approved. A 4 1/2 Blower was James Bond’s original car in the first three novels. This is a good honest car but James might have sworn at Q if he was offered the key to this one rather than the Blower.

by Rick Carey
21 February 2021
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