1928 Bentley 6 ½-Litre Open Sports Tourer / BR2354 Chassis Information

1928 Bentley 6 ½-Litre photograph

1928 Bentley 6 ½-Litre photograph

1928 Bentley 6 ½-Litre1928 Bentley 6 ½-Litre
Open Sports Tourer
Coachwork: Barker
Chassis #: BR2354
Engine # BR2361
Sold for $1,655,000 at 2018 Bonhams : Quail Lodge.
W.O. Bentley unveiled the new 3-litre car bearing his name on Stand 126 at the 1919 Olympia Motor Exhibition. Amazingly, the prototype engine had only fired up for the first time just a few weeks earlier. Bentley's four-cylinder 'fixed head' engine incorporated a single overhead camshaft, four-valves per cylinder and a bore/stroke of 80x149mm. Twin ML magnetos provided the ignition and power was transmitted via a four-speed gearbox with right-hand change. The pressed-steel chassis started off with a wheelbase of 9-feet and 9.5 inches. In 1923, they adopted a dimension of 10-feet and 10-inchs as the 'Standard Long.' The shorter frame was used for the TT Replica and subsequent Speed Model. Rear wheel brakes only were employed up to 1924 when four-wheel Perrot-type brakes were introduced.

The team enjoyed success in the 1922 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, when Bentleys finished second, fourth, and fifth to take the Team Prize. This led to the introduction of the TT Replica - later known as the Speed Model - on the 9-foot, 9.5-inch wheelbase, short standard chassis.

By the mid-1920s, the 3-Liter was becoming less competitive and its performance was crippled when ladened with heavy coachwork. More was needed. In 1926, Bentley introduced the 6½-Litre, known as the 'Silent Six'.

The Silent Six had been conceived as a touring car to compete with Rolls-Royce's New Phantom. The competition form was known as the Speed Six, and in this guise Barnato/Birkin's Speed Six won the 1929 Le Mans 24 Hour Race ahead of a trio of 4½-Litre Bentleys, and Barnato/Kidston repeated the feat in the following year's Grand Prix d'Endurance at the Sarthe circuit ahead of similarly-mounted Clement/Watney.

Production of the 6.5-Litre Bentley lasted four years, during white time 544 chassis were completed, 182 of these were built to Speed Six specification.

Of the 544 cars built, just 10-percent were delivered with open touring bodies. This example wears coachwork by Barker & Co. Coachbuilders. Barker would eventually body just 19 examples of the 6.5-liter chassis, making this selection even rarer. This open tourer has seating for seven, with two rear fold-down occasional seat. Of the 28 bodies Barker provided for W.O. Bentleys, nineteen were fitted to the 6.5-liter cars, and only two were 4-seat open tourers. This particular example is the only survivor.
When completed, this Bentley was used by HM Bentley & Partners as their Demonstrator. The buyer, a Mr. Major J.T. North took delivery eleven months later. Before coming to South Africa in 1937, it was owned by two other British custodians. In the early 1940s, on the Cape, it was owned by two young individuals in the South African Air Force. This was during the era of the fuel crisis, and its six-liter engine was very thirsty. On one occasions, while running on Aviation fuel, the car was impounded by local authorities. The resourceful Air Forcers later had it converted to run on wood, with its wood burner sitting where it luggage rack once was.

It would pass through several other owners before arriving into the care of a long term owner, South African Mrs. Alva Wilkins in 1964. Mrs. Alva would actively used the Bentley for the next two decades, including tours in both Australia and Africa. Its next custodian would keep the car for almost 30 years before the current owner negotiated to repatriate the Bentley from its long-term South African home.

When it arrived in the United Kingdom, it was given a rebuild. The car was rebuilt from the ground upwards, including total refurbishment of its Barker bodywork, removing and restoring the original aluminum skin from its original frame, carefully repairing it where necessary.

The original colors were duplicated: a light blue exterior with black fenders. The interior was done in royal blue Connolly surfaced dyed hides and the brightwork was correctly re-nickeled. It also received a comprehensive mechanical refurbishment with all mechanical items rebuilt to concours standards.

The car has its fully-matching numbers drivetrain.


By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2018

2018 Bonhams : Quail Lodge

Pre-Auction Estimates :
$2,000,000-$3,000,000 
Sale Price :
$1,655,000

2019 1
2018 1
2016 1

YearAvg. SaleHigh Sale# of Sales
2019$1,304,781$1,304,7811
2018$1,655,000$1,655,0001
2016$540,787$540,7871

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1928 sales)
1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Four Light Weymann Fabric Sports Saloon
Chassis#: BR2353
Sold for $1,304,781
  2019 Bonhams : Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
 
1928 Bentley 6½ Liter Open Sports Tourer Coachwork by Barker & Co. Coachbuilders
Chassis#: BR2354
Sold for $1,655,000
  2018 Bonhams : Quail Lodge
1928 Bentley 6 ½-Litre image  
1928 Bentley 6½/8-Litre Sports
Chassis#: MD 2461
Sold for $540,787
  2016 Bonhams : Goodwood Revival
 

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1928 Bentley 6 ½-Litre's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1928 Bentley 6½ Litre Sports Two-Seater to Speed Six SpecificationBR 23592006 Bonhams International Historic Motorsport Show Sports, Competition and Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles $200,000$250,000

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Vehicle Profiles

Chassis information for the Bentley 6.5 Litre1926 LeMans Tourer
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis information for the Bentley 6.5 Litre1926 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: TB2542
Engine Num: FW2605
Chassis information for the Bentley 6.5 Litre1926 LeMans Tourer
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: WK2662
Engine Num: FW2616
Chassis information for the Bentley 6 ½-Litre1927 Sports Tourer
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: BX 2416
Engine Num: BX 2421
Chassis information for the Bentley 6 ½-Litre1927 Sports Tourer
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Chassis Num: BX 2421
Engine Num: DH 2201
Chassis information for the Bentley Speed Six Markham1927 Roadster
Coachbuilder: Markham
Chassis Num: DH2206
Engine Num: NH2732
Chassis information for the Bentley 6 ½-Litre1927 Sport Coupe
Chassis Num: TW2713
Engine Num: TW2716
Chassis information for the Bentley 6 ½-Litre1928 Open Sports Tourer
Coachbuilder: Barker
Chassis Num: BR2354
Engine Num: BR2361


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