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1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter Open Two-Seater / B55KU Vehicle 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
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 :
USD $1,400,000-USD $1,600,000 
Sale Price :
USD $1,595,000

1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter Auction Sales

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1937 sales)
1937 BENTLEY 4¼-LITRE PILLARLESS SALOON BY VANDEN PLAS
Chassis#: B127JY
Sold for USD$124,620
  2021 RM Sothebys : A Passion for Elegance
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre All-weather Tourer
Chassis#: B179JY
Sold for USD$192,954
  2018 Bonhams : London Olympia
 
1937 BENTLEY 4-1/4-LITER SEDAN
Chassis#: B190KT
Sold for USD$37,400
  2018 Barrett-Jackson : Las Vegas
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre 'Woodie' Shooting Brake
Chassis#: B142JD
Sold for USD$135,128
  2018 Bonhams : Goodwood Revival
 
1937 BENTLEY 4 1/4 SALOON
Chassis#: B92KT
Sold for USD$53,000
  2017 Dragone Lime Rock Park
 
1937 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre Fixed Head Coupe
Chassis#: B91JY
Sold for USD$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 USD$173,250
  2016 Bonhams : The Amelia Island Auction
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter image  1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter image  
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Sports Saloon Project
Chassis#: B188LS
Sold for USD$21,280
  2015 Bonhams : The Beaulieu Sale
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre 'Aerofoil' Sports Saloon
Chassis#: B90KT
Sold for USD$385,603
  2015 Bonhams : The Chantilly Sale
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Open Two-Seater by Carlton
Chassis#: B55KU
Sold for USD$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 USD$234,797
  2014 LES GRANDES MARQUES DU MONDE AU GRAND PALAIS
 
1937 Bentley 4.25 Litre Vanden Plas Coupe
Chassis#: B128KT
Sold for USD$226,928
  2013 H & H - Rockingham Castle
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon
Chassis#: B117KU
Sold for USD$35,588
  2012 RM Auctions - London
 
1937 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre Sports Saloon
Sold for USD$30,542
  2012 Coys - Blenheim Palace
 
1937 Bentley 4.25 Litre Vanden Plas Pillarless Saloon
Chassis#: B127JY
Sold for USD$31,042
  2012 H & H Auctions - Rockingham Castle
 
1937 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre Coupé by Gurney Nutting
Sold for USD$293,146
  2012 Coys Auction - Monaco 'Legende et Passion'
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Drophead Coupe
Chassis#: B197HM
Sold for USD$91,048
  2012 Bonhams - Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre All Weather Tourer
Chassis#: B170KT
Sold for USD$212,901
  2011 Bonhams - The December Sale
 
1937 Bentley 4¼ Litre Allweather Convertible
Chassis#: B7HM
Sold for USD$249,683
  2011 Bonhams - Collectors' Motor Cars
 
1937 Bentley 4¼ Litre Disappearing Hood Sports Tourer by Hooper
Chassis#: B190LS
Sold for USD$208,221
  2011 RM Auctions - Salon Privé
 

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 4¼-Litre All-weather TourerB7HM2021 Bonhams : Goodwood Revival : Collectors Motor Cars and Automobilia $90,000$140,000
1937 BENTLEY 4¼-LITRE BROUGHAM SALOONB33JY2021 Bonhams : The Bond Street Sale $70,000$100,000
1937 Bentley 4¼ Litre Derby Park Ward Razor Edge Pillarless Saloon 2019 Shannons Melbourne Summer Classic   
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  

Comparables

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1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle thumbnail image  1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle thumbnail image  
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1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle thumbnail image  1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle thumbnail image  
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Bentley 4¼ Liter Vehicle Profiles
Pillarless Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Pillarless Coupe

Coachbuilder: Gurney Nutting
Model Year: 1936
Profile
Roadster
Bentley 4¼ Liter Roadster

Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Model Year: 1936
Sports Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Sports Coupe

Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Model Year: 1936
Profile

Two Seat Tourer
Bentley 4¼ Liter Two Seat Tourer

Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Model Year: 1936
Profile
Pillarless Saloon
Bentley 4¼ Liter Pillarless Saloon

Coachbuilder: Vanvooren
Model Year: 1936
Drophead Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: James Young
Chassis Num: APN 107
Model Year: 1936
Profile

Two Seat Tourer
Bentley 4¼ Liter Two Seat Tourer

Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: B 138GA
Engine Num: K6BW
Model Year: 1936
Profile and Auction History
Tourer
Bentley 4¼ Liter Tourer

Coachbuilder: Horsfield of Halifax
Chassis Num: B 49 GP
Engine Num: U 2 5K
Model Year: 1936
Profile and Auction History
Airflow Saloon
Bentley 4¼ Liter Airflow Saloon

Coachbuilder: Gurney Nutting
Chassis Num: B118HK
Engine Num: K2BY
Model Year: 1936
Profile and Auction History

Drophead Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: James Young
Chassis Num: B29GP
Model Year: 1936
Profile
Sedanca Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Sedanca Coupe

Coachbuilder: Gurney Nutting
Chassis Num: B44 HK
Engine Num: G8BC
Model Year: 1936
Barker Sunroof Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Barker Sunroof Coupe

Coachbuilder: Barker
Chassis Num: B46 JD
Model Year: 1936
Profile

Drophead Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Chassis Num: B57KU
Engine Num: Z6BM
Model Year: 1936
Profile and Auction History
Victoria Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Victoria Coupe

Model Year: 1937
Sedanca Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Sedanca Coupe

Coachbuilder: Gurney Nutting
Model Year: 1937
Profile

Saloon
Bentley 4¼ Liter Saloon

Coachbuilder: Mann-Edgerton
Model Year: 1937
Profile
Drop Head Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Drop Head Coupe

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Model Year: 1937
Profile
Drophead Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Windovers
Model Year: 1937
Profile

Fixed Head Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Fixed Head Coupe

Coachbuilder: Gurney Nutting
Chassis Num: B 4 5HM
Model Year: 1937
Profile
All-Weather Tourer
Bentley 4¼ Liter All-Weather Tourer

Coachbuilder: Thrupp and Maberly
Chassis Num: B-39-KU
Engine Num: M 9 BZ
Model Year: 1937
Profile and Auction History
Roadster
Bentley 4¼ Liter Roadster

Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: B-42-KT
Model Year: 1937
Profile

All-Weather Cabriolet
Bentley 4¼ Liter All-Weather Cabriolet

Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: B114KT
Engine Num: T7BP
Model Year: 1937
Profile
Fixed Head Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Fixed Head Coupe

Coachbuilder: Vesters & Neirinck
Chassis Num: B156KT
Engine Num: E9BH
Model Year: 1937
Profile and Auction History
Sports Tourer
Bentley 4¼ Liter Sports Tourer

Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: B1KU
Engine Num: U4BR
Model Year: 1937
Profile and Auction History

Open Two-Seater
Bentley 4¼ Liter Open Two-Seater

Coachbuilder: Carlton Carriage Company
Chassis Num: B55KU
Engine Num: B7BK
Model Year: 1937
Profile and Auction History
Sedanca Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Sedanca Coupe

Coachbuilder: Gurney Nutting
Chassis Num: B70KT
Engine Num: M2BY
Model Year: 1937
Profile and Auction History
Boattail
Bentley 4¼ Liter Boattail

Model Year: 1938

Sedan
Bentley 4¼ Liter Sedan

Model Year: 1938
Profile
Derby Drophead Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Derby Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Carlton Carriage Company
Model Year: 1938
Profile
Drophead Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Cockshoot
Model Year: 1938
Profile

Sedanca Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Sedanca Coupe

Coachbuilder: Gurney Nutting
Model Year: 1938
Profile
Pourtout Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Pourtout Coupe

Coachbuilder: Pourtout
Model Year: 1938
Profile
Drophead Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Model Year: 1938
Profile

Drophead Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Model Year: 1938
Profile
Fixed Head Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Fixed Head Coupe

Chassis Num: B-1-LE
Engine Num: T6BT
Model Year: 1938
Profile and Auction History
Sports Saloon
Bentley 4¼ Liter Sports Saloon

Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Chassis Num: B-107-LE
Model Year: 1938
Profile

Drophead Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: B106MR
Model Year: 1938
Profile
Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Coupe

Coachbuilder: Vanvooren
Chassis Num: B132LS
Engine Num: F-4-BH
Model Year: 1938
Profile and Auction History
Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Coupe

Coachbuilder: Vanvooren
Chassis Num: B132LS
Engine Num: F-4-BH
Model Year: 1938
Profile

All-Weather Tourer
Bentley 4¼ Liter All-Weather Tourer

Coachbuilder: Thrupp and Maberly
Chassis Num: B137LE
Engine Num: C8BL
Model Year: 1938
Profile and Auction History
Drophead Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: B153LE
Engine Num: G8BH
Model Year: 1938
Profile and Auction History
Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Coupe

Coachbuilder: Vanvooren
Chassis Num: B29LE
Model Year: 1938
Profile

Derby Drophead Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Derby Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: B77LE
Model Year: 1938
Profile
Drophead Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: B92LS
Engine Num: G8BG
Model Year: 1938
Profile and Auction History
Drophead Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Vanvooren
Model Year: 1939
Profile

Embiricos Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Embiricos Coupe

Chassis Num: B119MX
Engine Num: W9BC
Model Year: 1939
Profile and Auction History
Saloon
Bentley 4¼ Liter Saloon

Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Chassis Num: B131MX
Engine Num: U5BE
Model Year: 1939
Profile and Auction History
Sunroof Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Sunroof Coupe

Coachbuilder: Vanvooren
Chassis Num: B132LS
Model Year: 1939
Profile and Auction History

Drophead Tourer
Bentley 4¼ Liter Drophead Tourer

Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: B154MR
Model Year: 1939
Profile
Drpohead Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Drpohead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Chassis Num: B157MX
Model Year: 1939
Profile
Sport Coupe
Bentley 4¼ Liter Sport Coupe

Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Chassis Num: B30MR
Engine Num: C8BM
Model Year: 1939
Profile and Auction History

Pillarless Saloon
Bentley 4¼ Liter Pillarless Saloon

Coachbuilder: Vanvooren
Chassis Num: B3MX
Engine Num: B7BN
Model Year: 1939
Profile and Auction History
Tourer
Bentley 4¼ Liter Tourer

Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: B91 MX
Model Year: 1939
Profile


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