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Bentley History

1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter

Chassis number : B-39-KU

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Sold for $173,250 at 2016 Bonhams : The Amelia Island Auction.
Bentley introduced the 4 ¼-liter model in 1936. Designated the 'K' Series, the new chassis was built in two consecutive runs, the 'KT' and the 'KU'. Derby works produced one hundred of each, with the KTs being numbered evenly and KUs being assigned odd numbers. The 4.25-liter unit was a bored out version of the 3.6-liter motor. The larger engine gave these K Bentleys a higher top speed, now approaching 100 mph, with a few streamlined racing example capable of considerably more.

Some of the improvements found on the K Bentleys included new white-metal bearings, larger SU side-draft carburetors, larger valves, and an improved scraper ring design. The generator was now air-cooled, which helped its longevity. There was a new Borg and Beck single-plate clutch and the front end was redesigned to reduce axle tramp under hard braking.

Bentley produced a total of 1,234 examples of the 4 ¼-liter specification, with later-series chassis being given an overdrive transmission.

This particular example is the 19th of the 100 K-Series 4 ¼-liter Bentley chassis built at Derby. It is one of nine bodied as a four-door, four-seat All-Weather Phaeton by Thrupp & Maberly, located in London's West End. This phaeton features twin side-mounted spares within the front fenders.

It was delivered to Bentley's London distributor, Rootes Ltd and then to Thrupp & Maberly, Ltd. on July 2, 1937. The first owner was Captain Charles William Spiers, MP, of New Malden, Surrey. It is believed that the car remained with Captain Spiers for more than three decades.

It is believed that the engine was overhauled in 1977 by Mr. Stanley Brunt of Staffordshire, England.

The car was later acquired by Mr. Arthur B. Mullaly of Carmel, California, and then by Seattle newspaperman Monty Brown. Mr. Brown sold the car to Seattle auto dealer and collector Wade Carter in August of 1995, at which time the car showed 95,600 miles on the odometer. After Mr. Carter's passing, the Bentley remained with his family, until coming to Bonhams Amelia Island Auction in 2016.

This Bentley All-Weather Phaeton has a green body with dark green fenders, and polished full wheel discs. The interior is trimmed in brown leather with a tan canvas top and boot. It has its owner's manual, tool kit, and a set of fitted luggage. The overhead valve six-cylinder engine is fitted with two SU carburetors and produces an estimated 125 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual transmission, four-wheel drum brakes, beam axle in the front, and a live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs.


By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2016

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2016 Bonhams : The Amelia Island Auction

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $140,000-USD $180,000 
Sale Price :
USD $173,250

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 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 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