Grafton Coupe
Coachwork: Freestone & Webb
Chassis Num: FR2630
Engine Num: FR2633
Sold for $2,860,000 at 2013 Gooding & Company.
The Bentley Speed Six was confidently extolled by the factory as the 'World's Greatest Sporting Car,' which was engraved on a silver plaque affixed to the front cover of the sales brochure. The Speed Six brought W.O. Bentley his most significant victories and won the company many hard fought fights. It was a quality product that delivered great performance without sacrificing comfort. It remained impressively fast and agile even with the most luxurious of coachwork. The Speed Six was both a popular motorcar and an exclusive purchase; they were a statement of taste and stature.

In total, just 182 examples were built, with the number of unique bodies nearly identical. Some examples were given sporting open coachwork, while others received formal closed saloon bodies. One of the most popular body style on the Speed Six was the coupe. It offered comfort for the driver and passengers while allowing coachbuilders to implement weight-saving techniques. Woolf Barnato and Glen Kidston, both were Le Mans winners and integral Bentley Boys, had Speed Six Coupes specially ordered as their personal cars.

Chassis number FR2630
This coupe is known as the Grafton Coupe built by Freestone & Webb of London. They were one of London's finest coachbuilders and clothed nearly 20 examples of the Speed Six. Just two of these chassis were given the Grafton Coupe. Another Grafton Coupe was built on a Blower chassis, which was displayed at the Olympia Motor Show.

The sister car to this example is BA2591. The body was rexine fabric over an ash frame, which saved weight. The body sat low and covered the chassis rails. In the front and rear were helmeted fenders with a trunk and a rear spare fitted in the back. There is a small rear-quarter window, accentuated by faux landau irons.

Inside was quartered veneering on the dash and door panels. The Grafton Coupe includes a fold-down ashtray for the rear right-hand seat. When folded up has a metal liner and chute allowing for ash to drop out by the back wheel.

Invoiced to Anglo-Scottish Textiles Ltd., the car was intended for the firm's director, Henry C. Turner. Part of the purchase included a trade-in of a Victor Broom-bodied 4.5 Litre. This was the second of two Grafton Coupes bought in mid-1929 by Turner, the first of which, chassis BA2591, no longer exists.

Mr. Turner kept the car for only a short time before selling it to Dr. Joseph Le Fleming Burrow in September of 1930. At the time, the car had just under 12,000 miles. Service records indicate the replacement of the cylinder block in December of 1930 and minimal repair after a minor accident in June of 1932. In October of 1934, the Grafton Coupe was fitted with Lucas P100 headlamps, which are still with the car in modern times. The car was also fitted with a reconditioned front axle bed, which also remains on the car.

Dr. Le Fleming Burrow retained the car until 1949 if not longer. By 1974 the Speed Six was in the ownership of Sir Jack Stewart Clark. In 1984, the Grafton Coupe passed to Mervyn Frankel. The car changed hands more recently, coming into the care of its current caretaker.

This Speed Six is the only Grafton coupe extant, and one of just five original-bodied, matching-numbers Speed Six Coupes. It is one of an approximate 25 cars that make that claim.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2013

Chassis# FR2630

2013 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach
Estimated Value:$3,000,000-$4,000,000 
Sale Price$2,860,000

Analysis

Chassis number FR2630 Auction Sales History
2013$2,860,000

2016 1
2013 2
2012 1
2011 1
2008 1
2006 1
2004 1
2003 1

YearAvg. SaleHigh Sale# of Sales
2016$480,256$480,2561
2013$1,983,972$2,860,0002
2012$739,144$739,1441
2011$760,458$760,4581
2008$561,000$561,0001
2006$1,815,000$1,815,0001
2004$552,924$552,9241
2003$390,205$390,2051

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1929 sales)
1929 Bentley 6½-Litre Sedanca de Ville by H.J. Mulliner
Chassis#:Chassis#:KR2687
Sold for $480,256
  2016 RM Sotheby's : London Sale
 
1929 Bentley Speed Six Grafton Coupe
Chassis#:FR2630
Sold for $2,860,000
  2013 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach
    
1929 Bentley 6½-Litre Speed Six tourer
Chassis#:Chassis#:BA2580
Sold for $1,107,944
  2013 Bonhams - Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
 
1929 Bentley 6½/8-Litre Tourer
Chassis#:Chassis#:FA2510
Sold for $739,144
  2012 Bonhams - Paris, La Halle Freyssinet Motocars
 
1929 Bentley Speed Six 'Le Mans' Style Tourer
Chassis#:Chassis#:FA 2518
Sold for $760,458
  2011 RM Auctions - Salon Privé
 
1929 Bentley 6½-Liter
Chassis#:WT2271
Sold for $561,000
  2008 Gooding & Company
    
1929 Bentley Speed Six Dual Cowl Tourer
Sold for $1,815,000
  2006 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction
 
1929 Bentley Speed Six Boat-Tail Two-Seater
Chassis#:Chassis#:KF2400
Sold for $552,924
  2004 Bonhams - The Goodwood Revival
 
1929 Bentley Speed Six 6 1/2-litre Le Mans-style Tourer
Chassis#:Chassis#:KR 2677
Sold for $390,205
  2003 Bonhams - The Edwin C. Jameson Jr. Collection
 

No Sale

1929 Bentley 6½-Liter's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1929 Bentley 6½-Litre Sedanca de Ville by H.J. MullinerKR 26872013 RM Auctions VILLA ERBA$540,000  
1928 Bentley 6 1/2 Litre CoupeWT22712011 Gooding and Company The Amelia Island Auction $750,000$950,000

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