Image credits: © Bentley.

1938 Bentley 4¼-Liter news, pictures, specifications, and information
Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
The Silent Sports Car
Bentley Motors Ltd. was established by the legendary W.O. Bentley in Cricklewood, near London, in 1920. With its outstanding performance and many race wins, including a string of victories at LeMans, the Bentley was a very popular car.

Unfortunately, the company's finances were never solid, and in 1931 the firm was in deep trouble. Napier made a bid for the company assets, but it was Rolls-Royce that ultimately prevailed and became the owner of Bentley. Rolls-Royce introduced their version of the Bentley in 1933, with a 3.7-liter pushrod engine. By 1936, however, the engine size had been increased to 4.25 liters, primarily to handle the increasingly heavier coachwork.

Only 1,234 4.25-Liter Bentleys were built between 1936 and 1939 when it was replaced by the Mark V. Many bodies (such as this one) were built of steel instead of the former aluminum over ash frame construction.

The car shown is a 1938 model. It has a drophead coupe body, built by well known coachbuilder, VandenPlas. The phrase 'drophead coupe' is a British term that simply means convertible coupe.

After its manufacture this Bentley was retained by Bentley Motors as a factory demonstrator until 1941, when it was sold to Barclays as a used car. This Bentley was road tested by the British magazines 'The Motor' and 'The Autocar;' a writer for the latter claimed a top speed of 107 mph.
Derby Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Mulliner
Shortly after the armistice in 1919, WO Bentley, together with a group including Frank Burgess (formerly of Humber) and Harry Varley (formerly of Vauxhall), set about designing a high quality sporting tourer, for production under the name Bentley.  [Read More...]
Sedan
Designer: Park Ward
This car is one of 1241 4 1/4 Liter Bentley's built between 1936 and 1939. It sold for $7,200.  [Read More...]
Derby Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Carlton Carriage Company
The Bentley 4 1/2 liter came into existence to fill a void left by the 3-liter and the 6.5-liter variants. The 3-liter suffered from underperformance while the 6.5-liter was unsafe for the roads. The 6.5-liter was powerful, and with poor road-conditi  [Read More...]
Coupe
Coachwork: Vanvooren
Chassis Num: B132LS
Engine Num: F-4-BH
1937 coach built Vanvooren of Paris in 1937 for Lucie Vogt. First registered in Paris 470RLS in February 1938 Lucie Vogt was born in 1911 at Niederbruck, North Eastern France in a very rich family, her grandfather Joseph Vogt was the owner of the pot  [Read More...]
Coupe
Coachwork: Vanvooren
Chassis Num: B132LS
Engine Num: F-4-BH
This 1938 Bentley 4¼-Litre Vanvooren Coupe was offered for sale at the 2007 Blackhawk Collection Exhibit held at the Pebble Beach Concours. It carried a price tag of $350,000.

First registered in Paris 1937 for Lucie Vogt, who was born into a wealthy French Mining family. She owned many different cars, including a Bugatti T57. After recieving the car from the Parisian Bentley dealer - Franco-Britannique. The car was hidden away during the war and in 1945 she sold it to Maurice Baumgarten. Five years later he sold it to Alfred Tissieres also of Switzerland. The car next came to the States wîth the new owner being Russel Peck of Massachusetts. He kept it for over 44 years before selling it to Richard Gorman of North Florida in 2004. The car comes wîth a set of period 16' Borrani wheels.

Source - Blackhawk Collection
Pourtout Coupe
Coachwork: Pourtout
Designer: Georges Paulin
The most famous of all Derby Bentleys, this experimental, one-off automobile is nicknamed for the man who funded its creation in the mid-1930s: Andre Embiricos, a Greek shipping magnate and race driver living in Paris. It seems Mr. Embiricos was a Be  [Read More...]
Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Cockshoot
This drophead coupe is the only one built by Cockshoot for the 4.25-litre Bentley chassis and the second to last Cockshoot body built on a Bentley chassis at the Derby factory.  [Read More...]
Fixed Head Coupe
Chassis Num: B-1-LE
Engine Num: T6BT
Chassis B-1-LE was sent to de Villars in Levallois, Paris on February 22nd of 1938. The car had been ordered by Julio Villarejo of Paris for Alfredo Mihura, whose Paris address was listed as the Hotel George V. The car was ordered with a speedometer   [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2010
Pourtout Coupe
Coachwork: Pourtout
Designer: Georges Paulin

FAMOUS BENTLEY 4¼-LITRE ‘EMBIRICOS' SPECIAL MAKES STAR APPEARANCE AT CREWE FACTORY

One of the rarest and most valuable Bentleys in the world, the 4¼-Litre 'Embiricos' special, is making an historic appearance at the marque's home in Crewe. Fresh from taking part in the Louis Vuitton 'Serenissima Run' in Venice and featuring at the Le Mans Classic as part of the Bentley lineup, this magnificent car takes pride of place in the Lineage Showroom at the firm's Pyms Lane factory until September.

Throughout the 1930s Bentley Motors, then owned by Rolls-Royce, was producing fast, refined and well-built Grand Tourers from its Derby factory. While many customers sent their chassis to traditional coachbuilders such as Vanden Plas, H.J. Mulliner or Park Ward for elegant bodywork, enthusiasts from across the Channel, where the roads were longer and faster, were eager to explore the new world of aerodynamics. With the support of the factory, one such owner decided to investigate the possibility of a streamlined high-performance Bentley. The result was the most famous Bentley of the Derby era.

André Embiricos was a wealthy Greek racing driver living in Paris. Walter Sleator, the company's Paris agent, put him in touch wîth Georges Paulin, a designer working for coachbuilders Pourtout Carrossier. Únder Paulin's guidance Pourtout produced a strikingly sleek, aerodynamic body for a 4¼-Litre Derby Bentley that would be suitable for fast touring and track records alike. To keep weight down the fastback body wîth split rear window was crafted in Duralumin, an age-hardenable aluminium alloy.

The 'Embiricos' Bentley fulfilled all the criteria for a Bentley high performance grand tourer, achieving a timed 114.64 mph (184.5 km/h) over an hour at Brooklands, yet being civilised enough for Embiricos to use as a road car. Embiricos sold his unique Bentley late in 1939 to H.S.F. Hay who raced it in three post-war Le Mans 24-hour races, achieving a commendable 6th place in 1949.

Although a one-off, reaction to the Embiricos Bentley encouraged the company to explore more streamlined styles for future production models. In 1939 Bentley designer Ivan Evernden worked wîth Paulin on a sleek Mark V prototype called Corniche. Únfortunately it was in France when WWII broke out and destroyed during a bombing raid on Dieppe while awaiting shipment to Britain. Post-war, many of the lessons of the Embiricos Bentley reached fruition in the glorious lines of the 1952 R Type Continental, and as such continue to be reflected in the iconic shape of today's Continental GT coupe.

Richard Charlesworth, Director of Royal and VIP Relations and Head of the Bentley Heritage Collection, commented:

'It is an honour for Bentley to exhibit this unique Bentley for the first time, thanks to the generosity of its esteemed owner. Its sleek form was extremely advanced for the time, and its DNA can still be seen in modern Bentley coupes today. We are lòòking forward to showing the Embiricos to our factory visitors, and to the public at the upcoming Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance.'

Source - Bentley
Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: B153LE
Engine Num: G8BH
The first Rolls-Royce-built Bentley was the 3.5-Liter model. By early 1936, Bentley was offering a larger displacement chassis, the 4.25-Litre, to help offset the weight gains and subsequent loss of performance.   [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2012
Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Mulliner
Chassis Num: B92LS
Engine Num: G8BG
Sold for $341,000 at 2013 RM Auctions.
This 1938 Bentley 4.25 was bodied by H.J. Mulliner and features a unique one-off disappearing top. The car was initially sold by the famous Rolls-Royce/Bentley dealer Jack Barclay of London, England. Their emblem remains attached to the front bumper.  [Read More...]
Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
The current owner has had possession of this car for over 42 years. This vehicle has a Vanden Plas six place convertible body, specially built to the original owners specifications. It is fitted with a rumble seat and is a 'one-off' design, commiss  [Read More...]
All-Weather Tourer
Coachwork: Thrupp and Maberly
Chassis Num: B137LE
Engine Num: C8BL
Sold for $225,500 at 2013 RM Auctions.
The 'Derby Bentley' was the 3 1/2 liter, which was based upon the Rolls-Royce 20/25 chassis but with a high-performance engine with crossflow head, higher compression ratio, twin SU carburetors, and a re-profiled camshaft. The engine was increased in  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | May 2013
Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Mulliner
Chassis Num: B92LS
Engine Num: G8BG
Sold for $341,000 at 2013 RM Auctions.
The 4¼-Litre was the second Bentley-badged model, produced after Rolls-Royce acquired Bentley Motors in 1931. The first was the 3½-Litre, which shared many components with the Rolls-Royce 20/25. As roadways improved, it became clear that a more power  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2014
Bentley Motors was purchased by Rolls-Royce in 1931. One of the first of the Bentley vehicles produced after this merge was the 1933 3-1/2 Liter, a vehicle similar to the Rolls Royce 20/25. Bentley automobiles personified racing and the 3 1/2 Liter vehicle followed this tradition. It had a more powerful engine than its 20/25 counterpart. This had been achieved by adding a second carburetor and modification of the compression ratio.

Rolls Royce introduced the 25/30 in 1936 and Bentley introduced its counterpart, the 4 1/4 Liter. The Bentley featured 2 SU carburetors and a naturally aspirated straight-six engine producing 125 horsepower. It could achieve sixty mph in around fourteen seconds with the top speed just below 100 mph. The front-engine designed was matted to a four-speed manual gearbox and drove the rear wheels. Production lasted from 1936 through 1939 during which over 1240 examples were produced. This was the most vehicles of a single series Bentley had ever produced up to this time.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2014
 
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