1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter Open Two-Seater / B55KU Chassis Information

1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter photograph

1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter photograph

1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter photograph

1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter photograph

1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter photograph

1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter photograph

1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter
Open Two-Seater
Coachwork: Carlton Carriage Company
Chassis #: B55KU
Engine # B7BK
Sold for $1,595,000 at 2014 RM Auctions at Monterey.
Bentley produced 1,234 examples of their 4¼-Litre chassis; of those, 530 received coachwork by Park Ward, and most of them were steel saloons. Only a few Derby Bentley cars, however, received bodies from a more exclusive body builder named Carlton. The company was originally known as the E.B. Hall & Company, a North London horse-drawn carriage maker. It evolved into designing and building special car bodies on a few select Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Daimler chassis. After they were licensed to produce the Weymann fabric bodies, they changed the company name to Carlton Carriage Company.

The Carlton Carriage Company built just four bodies on the 4¼-Litre chassis. This particular example, chassis number B55KU, is the only two-seater open tourer ever built. The others were a sedanca coupe, a saloon, and a four-seater drophead coupe.

The design has the touring spare placed in the front wing rather than the boot lid. It has Ace deluxe wheel discs (also known as 'Easi-Clean'), a vintage Bentley-type fold-down twin aeroscreen (often called the Brooklands windscreen), a correct slanted Winged B mascot, and its original Marschal headlamps and centrally mounted driving lamp. Under the bonnet is a correctly restored engine. It is finished in its period-correct color scheme of midnight blue with a saddle tan interior.

The original owner ordered this car with special-order instruments. There is a Smiths tachometer with a clock built into its center top. The speedometer and tachometer are positioned to the left of the driver's position. The ignition and lamp switch are placed even further left, in front of the single-passenger seat.

The car's first owner was Gordon C. Wood, of Weybridge, Surrey, England, who accepted delivery from the Bentley dealer H.R. Owen on July 14, 1937. Mr. Wood used the car in several rallies in 1939, including the Royal Automobile Club's Blackpool Rally and the J.C.C. Brooklands Rally.

Mr. Wood sold the car to H.G. Holcroft of Shropshire, England, on September 18, 1938. In 1956, on New Years' Day, the car was sold to R. Guy, of Wolverhampton, England, who then sold it to its first U.S. owner in 1966. Around 1993, Dale Powers of Florida acquired the car, and over the next decade, he managed its complete restoration. After the work was completed, the car participated in several car club caravans, tours, and meets.

In 1999, the car was sold to Bill Jacobs, who refinished the car in midnight blue and saddle tan hide interior. The current owner acquired the car approximately eight years ago.


By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2014


2014 RM Auctions at Monterey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
$1,400,000-$1,600,000 
Sale Price :
$1,595,000

2018 3
2017 2
2016 1
2015 2
2014 2
2013 1
2012 5
2011 4
2010 2
2009 3

YearAvg. SaleHigh Sale# of Sales
2018$121,827$192,9543
2017$169,500$286,0002
2016$173,250$173,2501
2015$203,442$385,6032
2014$914,899$1,595,0002
2013$226,928$226,9281
2012$96,273$293,1465
2011$184,142$249,6834
2010$309,951$332,8482
2009$582,286$1,320,0003

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1937 sales)
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre All-weather Tourer
Chassis#: B179JY
Sold for $192,954
  2018 Bonhams : London Olympia
 
1937 BENTLEY 4-1/4-LITER SEDAN
Chassis#: B190KT
Sold for $37,400
  2018 Barrett-Jackson : Las Vegas
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre 'Woodie' Shooting Brake
Chassis#: B142JD
Sold for $135,128
  2018 Bonhams : Goodwood Revival
 
1937 BENTLEY 4 1/4 SALOON
Chassis#: B92KT
Sold for $53,000
  2017 Dragone Lime Rock Park
 
1937 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre Fixed Head Coupe
Chassis#: B91JY
Sold for $286,000
  2017 Worldwide Auctioneers : Scottsdale, AZ
 
1937 BENTLEY 4 ¼ LITER ALL-WEATHER PHAETON Coachwork by Thrupp & Maberly, Ltd.
Chassis#: B-39-KU
Sold for $173,250
  2016 Bonhams : The Amelia Island Auction
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter image  1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter image  
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre 'Aerofoil' Sports Saloon
Chassis#: B90KT
Sold for $385,603
  2015 Bonhams : The Chantilly Sale
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Sports Saloon Project
Chassis#: B188LS
Sold for $21,280
  2015 Bonhams : The Beaulieu Sale
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Open Two-Seater by Carlton
Chassis#: B55KU
Sold for $1,595,000
  2014 RM Auctions at Monterey
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter image  1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter image  
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Parallel-Door Sedanca Coupé
Chassis#: B28KT
Sold for $234,797
  2014 LES GRANDES MARQUES DU MONDE AU GRAND PALAIS
 
1937 Bentley 4.25 Litre Vanden Plas Coupe
Chassis#: B128KT
Sold for $226,928
  2013 H & H - Rockingham Castle
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon
Chassis#: B117KU
Sold for $35,588
  2012 RM Auctions - London
 
1937 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre Sports Saloon
Sold for $30,542
  2012 Coys - Blenheim Palace
 
1937 Bentley 4.25 Litre Vanden Plas Pillarless Saloon
Chassis#: B127JY
Sold for $31,042
  2012 H & H Auctions - Rockingham Castle
 
1937 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre Coupé by Gurney Nutting
Sold for $293,146
  2012 Coys Auction - Monaco 'Legende et Passion'
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Drophead Coupe
Chassis#: B197HM
Sold for $91,048
  2012 Bonhams - Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre All Weather Tourer
Chassis#: B170KT
Sold for $212,901
  2011 Bonhams - The December Sale
 
1937 Bentley 4¼ Litre Allweather Convertible
Chassis#: B7HM
Sold for $249,683
  2011 Bonhams - Collectors' Motor Cars
 
1937 Bentley 4¼ Litre Disappearing Hood Sports Tourer by Hooper
Chassis#: B190LS
Sold for $208,221
  2011 RM Auctions - Salon Privé
 
1937 Bentley 4.25 Litre Special
Chassis#: B121JY
Sold for $65,762
  2011 H & H - Pavilion Gardens June 8, 2011
 

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1937 Bentley 4 1/4 Litre Sports TourerB1KU2019 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach $400,000$500,000
1937 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre Aerofoil Sports SaloonB 90 KT2017 Bonhams : The Chantilly Sale $300,000$400,000
1937 Bentley 4¼ LITER SPORTS SALOONB119KU2017 Bonhams : Scottsdale, AZ $150,000$180,000
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Drophead CoupéB79KU2016 Bonhams : The Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale $180,000$240,000
1937 Bentley 4.25 Litre Vanden Plas Style TourerB-183-JY2012 The Pavilion Gardens   
1937 Bentley 4 1/4-Litre Sedanca CoupeB70KT2011 Gooding and Company Pebble Beach Auctions $300,000$400,000
1937 BENTLEY VANDEN PLAS DROPHEAD COUPE 2001 Kruse Auction Scottsdale Arizona$47,500  
1937 BENTLEY VANDEN PLAS DROPHEAD COUPE 2001 Kruse Auction Scottsdale Arizona$51,000  

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Vehicle Profiles

Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1936 Pillarless Coupe
Coachbuilder: Gurney Nutting
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1936 Roadster
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1936 Sports Coupe
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1936 Two Seat Tourer
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1936 Pillarless Saloon
Coachbuilder: Vanvooren
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1936 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: James Young
Chassis Num: APN 107
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1936 Two Seat Tourer
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: B 138GA
Engine Num: K6BW
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1936 Tourer
Coachbuilder: Horsfield of Halifax
Chassis Num: B 49 GP
Engine Num: U 2 5K
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1936 Airflow Saloon
Coachbuilder: Gurney Nutting
Chassis Num: B118HK
Engine Num: K2BY
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1936 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: James Young
Chassis Num: B29GP
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1936 Sedanca Coupe
Coachbuilder: Gurney Nutting
Chassis Num: B44 HK
Engine Num: G8BC
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1936 Barker Sunroof Coupe
Coachbuilder: Barker
Chassis Num: B46 JD
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1936 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Chassis Num: B57KU
Engine Num: Z6BM
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1937 Sedanca Coupe
Coachbuilder: Gurney Nutting
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1937 Saloon
Coachbuilder: Mann-Edgerton
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1937 Drop Head Coupe
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1937 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Windovers
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1937 Fixed Head Coupe
Coachbuilder: Gurney Nutting
Chassis Num: B 4 5HM
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1937 All-Weather Tourer
Coachbuilder: Thrupp and Maberly
Chassis Num: B-39-KU
Engine Num: M 9 BZ
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1937 Roadster
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: B-42-KT
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1937 All-Weather Cabriolet
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: B114KT
Engine Num: T7BP
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1937 Fixed Head Coupe
Coachbuilder: Vesters & Neirinck
Chassis Num: B156KT
Engine Num: E9BH
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1937 Open Two-Seater
Coachbuilder: Carlton Carriage Company
Chassis Num: B55KU
Engine Num: B7BK
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1937 Sedanca Coupe
Coachbuilder: Gurney Nutting
Chassis Num: B70KT
Engine Num: M2BY
Chassis information for the Bentley 4.25-Liter1938 Derby Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Carlton Carriage Company
Chassis information for the Bentley 4.25-Liter1938 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Cockshoot
Chassis information for the Bentley 4.25-Liter1938 Sedanca Coupe
Coachbuilder: Gurney Nutting
Chassis information for the Bentley 4.25-Liter1938 Pourtout Coupe
Coachbuilder: Pourtout
Chassis information for the Bentley 4.25-Liter1938 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis information for the Bentley 4.25-Liter1938 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis information for the Bentley 4.25-Liter1938 Fixed Head Coupe
Chassis Num: B-1-LE
Engine Num: T6BT
Chassis information for the Bentley 4.25-Liter1938 Sports Saloon
Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Chassis Num: B-107-LE
Chassis information for the Bentley 4.25-Liter1938 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: B106MR
Chassis information for the Bentley 4.25-Liter1938 Coupe
Coachbuilder: Vanvooren
Chassis Num: B132LS
Engine Num: F-4-BH
Chassis information for the Bentley 4.25-Liter1938 Coupe
Coachbuilder: Vanvooren
Chassis Num: B132LS
Engine Num: F-4-BH
Chassis information for the Bentley 4.25-Liter1938 All-Weather Tourer
Coachbuilder: Thrupp and Maberly
Chassis Num: B137LE
Engine Num: C8BL
Chassis information for the Bentley 4.25-Liter1938 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: B153LE
Engine Num: G8BH
Chassis information for the Bentley 4.5-Liter1938 Coupe
Coachbuilder: Vanvooren
Chassis Num: B29LE
Chassis information for the Bentley 4.25-Liter1938 Derby Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: B77LE
Chassis information for the Bentley 4.25-Liter1938 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: B92LS
Engine Num: G8BG
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1939 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Vanvooren
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1939 Embiricos Coupe
Chassis Num: B119MX
Engine Num: W9BC
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1939 Saloon
Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Chassis Num: B131MX
Engine Num: U5BE
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1939 Sunroof Coupe
Coachbuilder: Vanvooren
Chassis Num: B132LS
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1939 Drophead Tourer
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: B154MR
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1939 Drpohead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Chassis Num: B157MX
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1939 Sport Coupe
Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Chassis Num: B30MR
Engine Num: C8BM
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1939 Pillarless Saloon
Coachbuilder: Vanvooren
Chassis Num: B3MX
Engine Num: B7BN
Chassis information for the Bentley 4¼ Liter1939 Tourer
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: B91 MX

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Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

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