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Bentley History

1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre

Chassis number : RL3427

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Sold for $1,435,000 at 2018 Bonhams : Quail Lodge.
Sold for $1,105,000 at 2021 RM Sothebys : Monterey.
W.O. Bentley introduced his Bentley 3-liter on Stand 126 at the Olympia Motor Exhibition in 1919. In 1922, Bentley finished in second, fourth and fifth place at the Isle of Mans Tourist Trophy, earning them the Team Prize. This led to the introduction of the TT Replica (later known as the Speed Model).

As the years continued, the competitiveness of the 3-Liter began to wane. It was also unsuitable for heavier coachwork, which was typically fitted to the more expensive and complex Bentley 6.5-liter 'Silent Six.' This brought about the 4.5-liter, which effectively used the transmission, brakes and chassis of the 3-liter. The 4.5-liter four-cylinder engine had a 100x140mm bore/stroke and Bentley's four-valves-per-cylinder fixed-head layout.

It is believed that the first prototype 4.5-liter engine was installed in the 3-liter chassis of the 1927 Le Mans practice car. The engine was later fitted to the first production 4.5-liter chassis for that year's Grand Prix d'Endurance at the Circuit de la Sarthe. The car was given the nickname 'Old Mother Gun' and driven by Frank Clement and Leslie Callingham. It set the fastest race lap of 73.41 mph before being eliminated in the 'White House Crash' multiple pile-up.

In 1928, a 4.5-liter Bentley won at LeMans. Production of the 4.5-liter Bentley would continue for four years with a total of 665 examples being built on the 3-liter's 'Long Standard', 10-foot, 10-inch wheelbase chassis.

Vanden Plas was Bentley's preferred coachbuilder, having bodied 84 Bentleys between 1922 and 1924. From 1922 to 1931, they bodied 669 Bentley bodies.

This particular 1929 Bentley 4½ Liter Sports Tourer wears Coachwork by Vanden Plas. It is fitted with a 4,398cc single overhead camshaft four-cylinder engine with four overhead valves per cylinder. The 100 horsepower engine is mated to a four-speed 'C' gearbox and has four-wheel drum brakes with Servo Assist.

The car's original owner was Major E.G. Thomson, a wealthy shipbuilder in Scotland. It was the second of three that he would own. It wore livery like his ship, in a grey hue. The car was delivered to his Edinburgh address on January 14th of 1929. After about a year, it entered the care of its next owner A.J.H. Mowbray of Stirling, Scotland. The history from this point on is unknown. It may have remained in that country as it was still there after the war. By 1951 it is known to have been the property of John Sword. Mr. Sword would amass an amazing collection of 200 plus cars. After his death, there were two dispersal auctions. Ralph Dunwoodie, operating on behalf of the Harrah Collection, acquired numerous cars and had them brought stateside. This Bentley, however, was not presented for sale. Instead, it was retained and placed on public display in the Glasgow Transport museum where it would remain until 1992 when Bonhams Co-Chairman Malcolm Barber in previous employ handled its sale. It was acquired by Rt. Hon. Alan Clark.

The car would pass from Clark through two collectors, selling with the Brooks/Bonhams team in 2005, before coming into the care of its present owner in 2016. It left the British Isles for the first time in 2016 and into the current U.S.-based ownership.


By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2018

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2021 RM Sothebys : Monterey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $1,100,000-USD $1,300,000 
Sale Price :
USD $1,105,000

2018 Bonhams : Quail Lodge

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $1,250,000-USD $1,500,000 
Sale Price :
USD $1,435,000

1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Bentley 4.5 Litre

(Data based on Model Year 1929 sales)
1929 Bentley 4½ Liter Tourer
Chassis#: FB 3320
Sold for USD$604,500
  2022 Bonhams : The Greenwich Auction
 
1929 Bentley 4½ LITER TO SUPERCHARGED SPECIFICATIONS REPLICA LE MANS STYLE COACHWORK
Chassis#: AB 3669
Sold for USD$863,000
  2021 Bonhams : Quail Lodge
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  
1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Open Four-Seater Sports by Vanden Plas
Chassis#: RL3427
Sold for USD$1,105,000
  2021 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  
1929 Bentley 4½ Liter Sports Tourer
Chassis#: HB3410
Sold for USD$472,500
  2019 Bonhams : Amelia Island
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre 'Le Mans' Style Tourer
Chassis#: NX3457
Sold for USD$1,113,274
  2018 H & H Auction - Imperial War Museum, Duxford
 
1929 Bentley 4½ Liter Sports Tourer Coachwork by Vanden Plas
Chassis#: RL3427
Sold for USD$1,435,000
  2018 Bonhams : Quail Lodge
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  
1929 BENTLEY 4½-LITRE TOURER
Chassis#: DS3551
Sold for USD$451,385
  2016 Bonhams - Goodwood Members' Meeting
 
1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Tourer
Chassis#: MR 3399
Sold for USD$1,007,788
  2015 Bonhams : Bond Street Motor Car Sale
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  
1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Sports Saloon
Chassis#: PB3527
Sold for USD$1,073,078
  2015 Bonhams : The Beaulieu Sale
 
1929 Bentley 4.5 litre Open Tourer by Vanden Plas
Chassis#: FB3322
Sold for USD$510,000
  2015 Historics at Brookland
 
1929 Bentley Supercharged 4 ½ Litre Original two-seater
Sold for USD$1,045,428
  2013 Coys Auction - A236 True Greats
 
1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Open Tourer by Vanden Plas
Chassis#: vC57S119374
Sold for USD$785,996
  2013 RM Auction - London
 
1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Tourer
Chassis#: FB3324
Sold for USD$505,510
  2013 Bonhams - The Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale
 
1929 Bentley 4 ½ litre Vanden Plas style Tourer
Chassis#: RL3441
Sold for USD$465,271
  2012 Bonhams - Collectors' Motor cars and Automobilia at Goodwood
 
1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Four-Seat Tourer
Chassis#: NX 3452
Sold for USD$740,096
  2012 Bonhams - Collectors' Motor cars and Automobilia at Goodwood
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  
1929-31 4½-Litre Supercharged 'Blower' Bentley Single-Seater
Chassis#: HB 3402
Sold for USD$7,906,745
  2012 Bonhams - Collectors' Motor cars and Automobilia at Goodwood
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  
1929 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre VdP Tourer Model by Sapor Modelltechnik
Sold for USD$31,050
  2012 RM - Milhous Collection, Fla
 
1929 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Dual Cowl Sports Tourer
Chassis#: KL3584
Sold for USD$2,145,000
  2012 Gooding and Company - The Scottsdale Auction
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  
1929 Bentley 4 1/2-Litre Open Tourer by Vanden Plas
Chassis#: FB3317
Sold for USD$671,000
  2011 RM Auctions at Monterey
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  
1929 Bentley 4½-Liter Supercharged Birkin Team Car Specification Tourer
Chassis#: DS 3569
Sold for USD$722,000
  2009 Bonhams - Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club
 

Bentley 4.5 Litres That Failed To Sell At Auction

1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer by Vanden PlasSM39032021 RM Sothebys : London $3,800,000$4,200,000
1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Tourer 2019 Bonhams : Goodwood Revival $480,000$600,000
1929 Bentley 4 ½ Liter Sports TourerFB33172019 Bonhams : Quail Lodge Auction $700,000$850,000
1929 Bentley 4½-Litre TourerRL34282019 Bonhams : Goodwood Members Meeting $600,000$800,000
1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer Recreation by Graham MossRC22092018 RM Sothebys : Monterey $550,000$750,000
1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter Le Mans Replica Fabric TourerPL 34962017 Bonhams : Philadelphia Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum $600,000$700,000
1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Tourer by CadoganDS35702015 RM Sotheby's London Auction   
1929 BENTLEY 4½-LITRE SPORTS BLUEBELLRL34392014 The Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale $480,000$560,000
1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Tourer by Vanden PlasNX34672014 RM Auctions Automobiles of Arizona$1,150,000  
1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Open Tourer by Vanden PlasFB33172013 RM Auctions VILLA ERBA$490,000  
1929 Bentley 4½-Litre TourerFB33242013 Bonhams Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia $350,000$400,000
1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Drophead Coupé with DickeyHB34052011 Bonhams The December Sale $400,000$450,000
1929 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Two-Seat SportsDS35682011 Gooding and Company Pebble Beach Auctions $1,000,000$1,400,000
1929 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Open TourerDS35612008 Automobiles of London$175,000$275,000$325,000
1929 BENTLEY 4 1/2 LITER DROPHEAD COUPE 2003 Bonhams MOTOR CARS $260,000$300,000

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1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre Profiles

1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Robinson Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: HB3410
Engine #: HB3412
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Coupe
Coachwork: Salmon & Sons
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Chassis #: SM 3903
Engine #: SM 3907
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Chassis #: NX3466
Engine #: AD3655
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: HB3403
Engine #: SM3902
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: HB3404/R
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: HR3976
Engine #: HR3976
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Offset Single Seater
Designer: Reid Railton
Chassis #: HB3402
Engine #: SM3901
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Thrupp and Maberly
Chassis #: MR3990
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: FB3317
Engine #: FB3320
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Two-Seat Sports
Coachwork: Harrison
Chassis #: DS3568
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Sport Touring
Coachwork: Harrison
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: RL3427
Engine #: RL3429
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Chassis #: RC2209
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Chassis #: TX3246
Engine #: PM3275
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: DS3575
Engine #: DS3572
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: NX3451
Engine #: NX3455 - XF3507
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: NX3452
Engine #: NX3454
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Open Sports Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: NX3463
Engine #: NX3469
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Chassis #: AB 3669