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1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter


Chassis number : B55KU

Bentley 1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter History Specifications
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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

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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 of the Bentley 4¼ Liter

(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
 

Bentley 4¼ Liters That Failed To Sell At Auction

1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Drophead Coupé By Vanden PlasB 32 KT2023 RM Sothebys : Paris $175,000$225,000
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  

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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 Profiles

1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Drop Head Coupe
Coachwork: Mulliner
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Fixed Head Coupe
Coachwork: Vesters & Neirinck
Chassis #: B156KT
Engine #: E9BH
Build #: B3044
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Saloon
Coachwork: Mann-Edgerton
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Sedanca Coupe
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Sedanca Coupe
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting
Chassis #: B70KT
Engine #: M2BY
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Fixed Head Coupe
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting
Chassis #: B 4 5HM
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Windovers
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Roadster
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: B-42-KT
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Open Two-Seater
Coachwork: Carlton Carriage Company
Chassis #: B55KU
Engine #: B7BK
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
All-Weather Cabriolet
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: B114KT
Engine #: T7BP
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
All-Weather Tourer
Coachwork: Thrupp and Maberly
Chassis #: B-39-KU
Engine #: M 9 BZ
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Sports Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: B1KU
Engine #: U4BR