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Bentley History

1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre

Chassis number : XL3114

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Bentley introduced its 4½-Litre model in 1927, following a prototype's running at Le Mans that year. It used the same bore and stroke as the six-cylinder 6½-Litre but retained the 3-Litre's shaft-and-helical camshaft drive. The performance of the 4½-Litre was solidified when it took an outright victory at Le Mans in 1928. A properly prepared 4½-Litre in racing trim was capable of achieving 120 mph, which was considered a remarkable accomplishment for that era.

This particular 4½-Litre was initially delivered to an S.K. Thornley of Birmingham, England with Vanden Plas coachwork. It was acquired in 1933, while still under Bentley Motors guarantee, by Fred Salmons of the Newport Pagnell-based coachbuilder Salmons & Sons, established in 1830. Mr. Salmons (known as 'Mr. Fred' on the shop floor) clothed the vehicle with his preferred style of coachwork - a Drophead Sports Coupe formed from lightweight aluminum. It has slender front wings, polished aluminum louvers, and a convertible top that offers open-air motoring in finer weather along with all-season protection when the top is in place. Its doors displayed polished 'Tickford wings' above the beltline.

This was Mr. Salmon's personal car until at least 1940. After World War II, the car passed through several owners and briefly resided in the United States. In the early 1980s, the car returned to England, where it was sent back to the original Salmons & Sons building in Newport Pagnell, then (as now) operating under the auspices of Aston Martin Works, for restoration. In 1985, the car was acquired by D.P.L Benyon, who used it in various Bentley Drivers Club events and international rallies, including the Irish Gordon Bennett Rally. Mr. Benyon retained the car for over three decades.

The Bentley currently retains its numbers-matching engine, front and rear axles, and steering column. Its 'C' type gearbox was replaced in-period by Bentley Motors as a replacement for its original 'D' type gearbox. It currently has an overdrive. The engine was rebuilt in 2000, including a rebore, new Arias pistons, new liners, and valves.

In 2020, the car was shown at the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace.


By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2021

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2021 RM Sothebys : Monterey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $500,000-USD $600,000 
Lot was not sold

2019 Historics at Brooklands - Motor Museum

Pre-Auction Estimates :
£380,000-£420,000 
Lot was not sold

1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Bentley 4.5 Litre

(Data based on Model Year 1928 sales)
1928 BENTLEY 4 1/2 LITRE SPORTS TOURER
Chassis#: TX3235
Sold for USD$31,060
  2022 Gooding & Company : London Auction
 
1928 Bentley 4½-Litre Tourer
Chassis#: HF3179
Sold for USD$561,053
  2021 RM Sothebys : London
 
1928 Bentley 4½ Liter Le Mans-Style Tourer Replica Vanden Plas
Chassis#: 3043
Sold for USD$747,500
  2021 Bonhams : Quail Lodge
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  
1928 Bentley 4½-Litre Tourer
Chassis#: MF3157
Sold for USD$573,811
  2019 Bonhams : The Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale
 
1928 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Open Sports Tourer
Chassis#: FT3221
Sold for USD$1,100,000
  2017 Gooding & Co. : Scottsdale, AZ
 
1928 Bentley 4½-Litre Tourer in the style of Vanden Plas
Chassis#: PM3252
Sold for USD$852,500
  2016 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  
1928 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Semi-Le Mans Tourer
Chassis#: MF3153
Sold for USD$2,750,000
  2013 Gooding and Company - The Amelia Island Auction
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  
1928 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre British Flexible Coupe
Chassis#: XR3347
Sold for USD$726,000
  2013 Gooding and Company - The Scottsdale Auction
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  
1928 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Le Mans Sports Bobtail
Chassis#: KM3088
Sold for USD$6,050,000
  2012 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auction
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  
1928 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer
Chassis#: NT3131
Sold for USD$1,231,925
  2012 Bonhams - Collectors' Motor cars and Automobilia at Goodwood
 
1928 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Tourer
Chassis#: PM3252
Sold for USD$770,000
  2011 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auctions
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre image  
1928 Bentley 41/2-Litre Tourer
Chassis#: RL3427
Sold for USD$327,541
  2005 Bonhams - Sports, Competition & Collectors' Motor Cars, F1 Memorabilia, Automobilia & Models
 

Bentley 4.5 Litres That Failed To Sell At Auction

1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1928 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Sports TourerTX32392021 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach Concours Auction $1,100,000$1,400,000
1928 Bentley 4½-Litre Drophead Sports Coupe by Salmons & SonsXL31142021 RM Sothebys : Monterey $500,000$600,000
1928 Bentley 4½-Litre TourerUK32772020 Bonhams July Motoring Auction $380,000$400,000
1928 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Drophead Coupé by Salmons & SonsXL 31142019 Historics at Brooklands Motor Museum $380,000$420,000
1928 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Sports TourerST30062019 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach $1,000,000$1,300,000
1928 Bentley 4½-Litre TourerNT31372018 Bonhams : Goodwood   
1928 Bentley 4½-Litre Le Mans Sports The Bobtail by Vanden PlasKM30882017 RM Auctions : Amelia Island $6,500,000$7,500,000
1928 Bentley 3/4.5 Litre Vanden Plas Style Le Mans TourerHT16492015 H & H Auctions Imperial War Museum   
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre Tourer 2013 H & H Auctions The Pavilion Gardens $400,000$470,000
1928 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Harrison British Flexible CoupeXR33472012 Gooding & Company, Amelia Island, Fl $600,000$800,000

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1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre Profiles

1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: YV7263
Engine #: KM3096
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Flexible Coupe
Coachwork: Harrison
Chassis #: XR3347
Engine #: XR3347
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
LeMans Sport Bobtail
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: KM3088
Engine #: MF3175
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Semi-Le Mans Sports Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: MF3153
Engine #: SM3905
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Harrison
Chassis #: PM3259
Engine #: PM3258
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: PM3252
Engine #: PM3256
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: HF3177
Engine #: HF3178 / SL 3054
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Victor Broom
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Chassis #: SL3075
Engine #: SL3071
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Weymann
Chassis #: RN3043
Engine #: RN3044
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting
Chassis #: TX3234
Engine #: TX3233
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: TX3239
Engine #: TX3241
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre vehicle information
Drophead Sports Coupe
Coachwork: Salmon & Sons
Chassis #: XL3114
Engine #: XL3116