1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter
|Model History||Auction sales research||Specifications||Body styles and Chassis Data|
Bentley had a long tradition of quality and superior performance. This goal was to be continued with the Litre-series. As engines grew in size, so did the size of the vehicles and ultimately, the weight. The Bentley Motor Company realized this and made every effort to protect sophistication, performance, style, refinement, quality, and handling.
The Rolls-Royce 20/25 engine was used as a base for Bentley. Dual S.U. carburetors and a revised manifold raised horsepower to 110. A four-speed manual gearbox was adapted and provided smooth shifting.
The original engine was a 3.5 liter unit which was flawless in design with only one exception - it was too small. As time progressed, the engine was enlarged, resulting in the 4.5- 6.5- and 8 liter Bentley's.
Claude Raoul Benoit Lang commissioned two one-off Bentley's during the late 1930s. At the age of 27 he sent one of the chassis's to Vesters & Neirinck to be fitted with coachwork. The second was delivered less than three years later. M. Lang was actively involved in the design of the car and built to his specifications.
The early history of the Vesters & Neirinck Coachbuilding Firm is unknown. It is believed to have begun around 1914. In 1923 the Vester & Neirinck Firm was an exhibitor at the Belgian Auto Salon. From the following years, the firm would show their work to various shows in an effort to attract new clientele. Their vehicles were often built atop chassis's by Minerva, Rolls-Royce, Delahaye, Delage, and Graham. Their most notable work was the Lang Fixed Head Coupe. Also part of their resume was around 11 examples built with Derby Bentley's chassis.
This 1937 Bentley 4.25 Liter Fixed Head Sport Coupe with coachwork by Vesters & Neirinck of Brussels was offered for sale at the 2006 RM Auction in Monterey, CA where it was one of the highlights of the show. Its history is prestigious and the craftsmanship is unique and refined. It is powered by a 4257-cc six-cylinder overhead valve engine that produces 125 horsepower. It sits atop a 126-inch wheelbase and is finished in black lacquer paintwork with saddle leather interior. There is seating for two and is bodied with a light aluminum body and steel front wings. The teardrop style wings appear as though they are suspended in space; they are not attached to any running boards as there is none on this vehicle. It has a large sunroof and hidden luggage compartment. There is an interior hidden tool compartment and exterior chrome luggage rack. The rear-mounted spare tire cover has an engraved monogram from the original owner on the side of the chrome faring.
The vehicle stayed in the possession of M. Claude Lang until 1977 when it was sold to Monsieur J. who retained the vehicle until 1989 when it was sent to its third owner. The vehicle has traveled less than 35,100 kms from new. When offered for sale at the 2006 RM Auction marked its first time on the US soil. The vehicle did find its fourth owner at the auction, selling for $1,265,000.
In 2009, this car was brought to Gooding & Company's Scottsdale Auction where it had an estimated value of $900,000 - $1,400,000. It was sold for $1.2 million at the hammer. It was also announced that this Bentley had an invitation to the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2009
|Auction Sales Information|
|Auction||Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction|
|Auction||The Scottsdale Auction : Gooding & Company|
|The Scottsdale Auction : Gooding & Company||1936-1953|
|Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction||1910-1940|