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Bentley History

1927 Bentley 3-Litre

Chassis number : BL 1603

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Sold for $308,000 at 2009 Pebble Beach Auction : Gooding & Company.
The iconic 'first' Bentley was built in a workshop near Baker Street, London, in 1920 and was powered by a 65 horsepower four-cylinder 16-valve engine. The car is the first to carry Bentley's hallmark radiator casing and flying 'B' insignia. The car was designed by the company founder Walter Owen Bentley, otherwise known as 'WO'.

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This classic Bentley convertible, fitted with a Harrington body was delivered to Mr. C.C. Brill in March 1927 and is thought to be the only surviving Harrington-bodied Bentley 3-liter in existence today. The car was acquired by its current owners, Dennis and Ann-Marie Nash, in 1997, and they have since driven more than 12,000 miles in Europe and the U.S.A. It is thought to have been driven more than 155,000 miles.

Of the five Harrington-bodied Bentleys, this is the only one known to survive. It is a matching numbers example in restored condition and has been the recipient of numerous national club and concours awards.

There are a number of period upgrades on this car, including a vacuum servo unit installed in 1932 followed by the addition of Lucas P100 headlamps and twin SU 'sloper' carburetors in 1934. In 1988, it was given a professional body-off restoration and had a complete engine, clutch and brake rebuild in 2000.

The engine is a 3-liter single overhead cam 4-cylinder unit with four valves per cylinder. There is 80 horsepower available, a four-speed gearbox, and four-wheel mechanical brakes with servo assist.

In 2009, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held at Pebble Beach, CA. It was expected to sell for $250,000 - $275,000 and offered without reserve. The lot was sold for the sum of $308,000, inclusive of buyer's premium.

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2009 Pebble Beach Auction : Gooding & Company

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $250,000-USD $275,000 
Sale Price :
USD $308,000

1927 Bentley 3-Litre Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Bentley 3-Litre

(Data based on Model Year 1927 sales)
1927 Bentley 3/4½-Litre Speed Model Sports
Chassis#: HT1631
Sold for USD$455,517
  2021 Bonhams : The Bond Street Sale
 
1927 Bentley 3-Litre Sports Four-Seater
Chassis#: BL1620
Sold for USD$346,500
  2011 Automobiles of Arizona by RM Auctions
1927 Bentley 3-Litre image  1927 Bentley 3-Litre image  
1927 Bentley Three-Litre Tourer By Harrington
Chassis#: BL 1603
Sold for USD$308,000
  2009 Pebble Beach Auction : Gooding & Company
1927 Bentley 3-Litre image  1927 Bentley 3-Litre image  

Bentley 3-Litres That Failed To Sell At Auction

1927 Bentley 3-Litre's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1927 Bentley 3-Litre Vanden Plas-style TourerTN15562022 Bonhams : Goodwood Revival $200,000$240,000
1927 BENTLEY 3/4½-LITRE OPEN TOURERLM13412014 The Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale $220,000$280,000

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1927 Bentley 3-Litre Profiles

1927 Bentley 3-Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Designer: Harrington
Chassis #: BL 1603
Engine #: BL 1606
1927 Bentley 3-Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: BL1620
1927 Bentley 3-Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas