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1931 Bentley 4 Litre Tourer / VF4019 Vehicle Information

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

1931 Bentley 4 Litre photograph

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High bid of $400,000 at 2015 Keno Brothers : NY Auto. (did not sell)
The Bentley 4 Litre was the company's swansong before its absorption by Rolls-Royce. With the Depression biting, sales of the old 4.5 Litre were declining and its newest 8 Litre model was hugely expensive. Bentley Motors needed a new smaller model to compete with Rolls-Royce's successful 20/25 HP - and the result was the 4 Litre. A heavy chassis was designed based on the 8 Litre, and was offered in both long and short wheelbase. Although it is perhaps the best chassis Bentley ever produced, few were built because it was really too heavy for the engine. Only 50 4 Liters were completed before Bentley was taken over by Rolls-Royce, and only 12 are known to exist today.

This Vanden Plas-bodied 4 Litre is the most original of these rare survivors and was the London Olympia Motor Show car of 1931.

High bid of $400,000 at 2015 Keno Brothers : NY Auto. (did not sell)
Bently built fifty examples of the 4-liter model, and this example was the 19th produced (around a dozen still exist in modern times). Most of the 4-Litres were given enclosed saloon bodywork. This is one of two cars originally fitted with this tourer design by Vanden Plas. The design is nearly identical to Woolf Barnato's personal 8-Litre, except for its size.

This car was a factory demonstrator and finished in Le Mans Green with black fenders, chassis and moldings. Inside, the upholstery was finished in green leather. During a road test, a bearing in the gearbox failed, resulting in a replacement of the gearbox. The car remained in Bentley Motors' stock until the company entered receivership in late 1931. The car was sent to London dealer Jack Olding for sale; it entered the care of its first owner, P.A.G. Phillips of Tunbridge, Wells, on January 4th of 1932.

In September of 1933, it was given a new 4.16:1 rear axle. During World War II, the car was loaned to Mr. Phillip's squadron leader, Peter Balean, of Derby, at least once while Mr. Phillips was on leave in 1941. In June of 1960, Mr. Balean was able to purchase the vehicle, acquiring it from Mr. Phillips's estate. The 4-Liter Bentley would remain in his care until 1989.

While in Balean's ownership, the engine was rebuilt.

Mr. Balean sold the car to Ronald Gray, of Germany and Florida. In 2000, it was acquired by its current caretakers. In late 2009, it was given a full service Steve Babinsky, with further freshening before the car's appearance at the Pebble Beach Concoours d'Elegance in 2014.

The car is believed to have its original paint, interior (including the carpets), frame, engine, and body.


By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2015


2018 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $500,000-USD $700,000 
Lot was not sold

2015 Keno Brothers : NY Auto

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $450,000-USD $550,000 
High Bid (Lot was not sold)
USD $400,000

2015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $500,000-USD $650,000 
Lot was not sold

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1931 sales)
1931 Bentley 4 litre Sports Saloon
Chassis#: VF 4011
Sold for USD$158,296
  2009 Bonhams - Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia
 
1931 Bentley 4-Litre Coupé
Chassis#: VF 4018
Sold for USD$318,548
  2009 Bonhams -Goodwood Festival of Speed
 

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1931 Bentley 4 Litre's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1931 Bentley 4 Litre TourerVF40192018 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach $500,000$700,000
1931 BENTLEY 4 LITER TOURER BY VANDEN PLASVF40192015 Keno Brothers : NY Auto$400,000$450,000$550,000
1931 Bentley 4-Litre Tourer by Vanden PlasVF40192015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey $500,000$650,000
1931 Bentley 4 litre H.J Mulliner SaloonVA40782011 Shannons Auctions Shannons Melbourne Autumn Classic Auction $150,000$180,000
1931 Bentley 4-Litre/8-Litre Le Mans-style TourerVF40122010 Bonhams Automobiles d'Exception á Rétromobile $450,000$550,000

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1931 Bentley 4 Litre

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