1927 Bentley 4.5 Liter / ST3015 Chassis Information

Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: ST3015
Engine Num: ST3015
At the 1919 London Olympia Motor Exhibition, on Stand 126, W.O. Bentley introduced the new 3-liter car bearing his name. It would become a legend in motor racing history. At the 1922 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, Bentleys finished second, fourth and fifth to take the Team Prize. This led to the introduction of the TT Replica - later to become known as the Speed Model.

As the 3-Liter's competitiveness began to wane over the years, Bentley introduced the '4½'. Along with increased performance, it allowed for customers to fit heavier and more luxurious coachwork.

The new 4½-Liter model used many components from the 3-Liter, such as the chassis, brakes, transmission, and base engine. The engine's bore and stroke was increased by 100x140mm. The 4 valves per cylinder, 5 main bearing crankshaft, and dual ignition of the 3-Liter were retained.

Just like the 3-Liter, the 4½-Liter was entered in competition events, including the 1927 LeMans. The original 4½-Liter car, nicknamed by the team 'Old Mother Gun' and driven by Frank Clement and Leslie Callingham, set the fastest race lap of 73.41 mph before retiring early due to the infamous 'White House Crash' pile-up. A year later, a 4½-Liter won the event.

During the four-year production, all but nine of the 665 cars built use the 'Long Standard', 130-inch wheelbase chassis.

This particular example is the 15th ½-Liter Bentley built. It was dispatched from the Cricklewood works to Vanden Plas Coachbuilders, and fitted with VDP body number 1428, a 3-Door 4-seater Sports Tourer, which it retains. It was originally finished Thornly and Knight No.6 Grey, with the wings and chassis in black cellulose, and upholstered in brown antique leather.

The wings and running boards were custom ordered to extend all the way to the body, which aided in keeping passengers dry in wet conditions. The door locks and windscreen surround were originally finished in black nickel. It has its original wheel discs and rear auster screen.

The original owner of the Bentley was Ernst Waring Spencer of Rotherham, England, who retained the car until 1934. It then passed to Bentley dealer H.M. Bentley and Partners, a firm run by W.O. Bentley's brother. From there it went to a Captain John MacGillivray in Ross-shire, Scotland. In 1938 the car was registered to Lt. Col. William Douglas Bruce-Watt of Wardlaw, Kirkhill. During World War II, it was put into storage. By 1946, it was owned by a Bentley Drivers Club member Mr. J.A. Stodent and in 1954 the original engine was removed and fitted with engine number MR3392. The original engine numbered ST3015 is currently installed in another car.

During this period, the original back axle was replaced with a 6½-Liter unit numbered WK2654, but the car retains its original numbered axle carrier. The front axle may also have been replaced during this period with the later spec 4½-Liter unit.

Geoffrey Rowland Sandwith of Bracknell, Berkshire purchased the car in 1960 and it remained in the Sandwith family until 1997. During their ownership, the car was fitted with touring boxes under the original running boards. Mrs. Llewellyn (Sandwith's daughter) had the engine rebuilt at 46,847 miles. This rebuild incorporated a new crankcase, crank, rods, pistons, valves, and Phoenix roller rockers. It also included new thin wall bearings and an uprated oil pump. During this rebuild the original block, cam chest, and sump were retained.

Roy Southward of New Zealand purchased the car in 1997 and kept it until 2011, when he sold it to Peter Dunkerley. In 2016, it was acquired by the current caretaker who had it imported to the United States.

The car is currently finished in green with black leather interior.
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2017

Chassis# ST3015

2017 Bonhams : The Amelia Island Auction
Estimated Value:$750,000-$900,000 
Lot was not sold

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1927 sales)
1927 Bentley 41/2-litre Tourer
Chassis#: NT 3139
Sold for $220,257
  2003 Bonhams - Important Collectors' Motor Cars

No Sale

1927 Bentley 4.5 Liter's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1927 Bentley 4.5 Liter TourerST30152017 Bonhams : The Amelia Island Auction $750,000$900,000
1927 Bentley 3 - 4 1/2 Litre Gibbs Pancheri Special9952011 The Scottsdale Auction Gooding & Company   
1927 Bentley 4½-Litre TourerSL30592005 Bonhams Important Collectors' Motor Cars $220,000$250,000


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