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Bentley History

1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter

Chassis number : B156KT

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Sold for $1,265,000 at 2006 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction.
Sold for $1,320,000 at 2009 The Scottsdale Auction : Gooding & Company.
Bentley entered into receivership in 1931 was acquired by Rolls-Royce. The Bentley Company is said to have been in this predicament due to their automobiles being so well designed that their list of clients dwindled due to not needing another vehicle. When Rolls-Royce acquired Bentley, the first issue was to re-examine the products and determine what caused the demise of the company and what could be done to revitalize the nameplate. The Blower Bentleys of the W.O. era were proved like a potential. The supercharger was a proven technology and powerful but it was noisy and lacked refinement.

Bentley had a long tradition of quality and superior performance. This goal was to be continued with the Litre-series. As engines grew in size, so did the size of the vehicles and ultimately, the weight. The Bentley Motor Company realized this and made every effort to protect sophistication, performance, style, refinement, quality, and handling.

The Rolls-Royce 20/25 engine was used as a base for Bentley. Dual S.U. carburetors and a revised manifold raised horsepower to 110. A four-speed manual gearbox was adapted and provided smooth shifting.

The original engine was a 3.5 liter unit which was flawless in design with only one exception - it was too small. As time progressed, the engine was enlarged, resulting in the 4.5- 6.5- and 8 liter Bentley's.

Claude Raoul Benoit Lang commissioned two one-off Bentley's during the late 1930s. At the age of 27 he sent one of the chassis's to Vesters & Neirinck to be fitted with coachwork. The second was delivered less than three years later. M. Lang was actively involved in the design of the car and built to his specifications.

The early history of the Vesters & Neirinck Coachbuilding Firm is unknown. It is believed to have begun around 1914. In 1923 the Vester & Neirinck Firm was an exhibitor at the Belgian Auto Salon. From the following years, the firm would show their work to various shows in an effort to attract new clientele. Their vehicles were often built atop chassis's by Minerva, Rolls-Royce, Delahaye, Delage, and Graham. Their most notable work was the Lang Fixed Head Coupe. Also part of their resume was around 11 examples built with Derby Bentley's chassis.

This 1937 Bentley 4.25 Liter Fixed Head Sport Coupe with coachwork by Vesters & Neirinck of Brussels was offered for sale at the 2006 RM Auction in Monterey, CA where it was one of the highlights of the show. Its history is prestigious and the craftsmanship is unique and refined. It is powered by a 4257-cc six-cylinder overhead valve engine that produces 125 horsepower. It sits atop a 126-inch wheelbase and is finished in black lacquer paintwork with saddle leather interior. There is seating for two and is bodied with a light aluminum body and steel front wings. The teardrop style wings appear as though they are suspended in space; they are not attached to any running boards as there is none on this vehicle. It has a large sunroof and hidden luggage compartment. There is an interior hidden tool compartment and exterior chrome luggage rack. The rear-mounted spare tire cover has an engraved monogram from the original owner on the side of the chrome faring.

The vehicle stayed in the possession of M. Claude Lang until 1977 when it was sold to Monsieur J. who retained the vehicle until 1989 when it was sent to its third owner. The vehicle has traveled less than 35,100 kms from new. When offered for sale at the 2006 RM Auction marked its first time on the US soil. The vehicle did find its fourth owner at the auction, selling for $1,265,000.

In 2009, this car was brought to Gooding & Company's Scottsdale Auction where it had an estimated value of $900,000 - $1,400,000. It was sold for $1.2 million at the hammer. It was also announced that this Bentley had an invitation to the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours.


By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2009

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2009 The Scottsdale Auction : Gooding & Company

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $900,000-USD $1,400,000 
Sale Price :
USD $1,320,000

2006 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction

Sale Price :
USD $1,265,000

1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Bentley 4¼ Liter

(Data based on Model Year 1937 sales)
1937 BENTLEY 4¼-LITRE PILLARLESS SALOON BY VANDEN PLAS
Chassis#: B127JY
Sold for USD$124,620
  2021 RM Sothebys : A Passion for Elegance
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre All-weather Tourer
Chassis#: B179JY
Sold for USD$192,954
  2018 Bonhams : London Olympia
 
1937 BENTLEY 4-1/4-LITER SEDAN
Chassis#: B190KT
Sold for USD$37,400
  2018 Barrett-Jackson : Las Vegas
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre 'Woodie' Shooting Brake
Chassis#: B142JD
Sold for USD$135,128
  2018 Bonhams : Goodwood Revival
 
1937 BENTLEY 4 1/4 SALOON
Chassis#: B92KT
Sold for USD$53,000
  2017 Dragone Lime Rock Park
 
1937 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre Fixed Head Coupe
Chassis#: B91JY
Sold for USD$286,000
  2017 Worldwide Auctioneers : Scottsdale, AZ
 
1937 BENTLEY 4 ¼ LITER ALL-WEATHER PHAETON Coachwork by Thrupp & Maberly, Ltd.
Chassis#: B-39-KU
Sold for USD$173,250
  2016 Bonhams : The Amelia Island Auction
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter image  1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter image  
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Sports Saloon Project
Chassis#: B188LS
Sold for USD$21,280
  2015 Bonhams : The Beaulieu Sale
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre 'Aerofoil' Sports Saloon
Chassis#: B90KT
Sold for USD$385,603
  2015 Bonhams : The Chantilly Sale
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Open Two-Seater by Carlton
Chassis#: B55KU
Sold for USD$1,595,000
  2014 RM Auctions at Monterey
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter image  1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter image  
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Parallel-Door Sedanca Coupé
Chassis#: B28KT
Sold for USD$234,797
  2014 LES GRANDES MARQUES DU MONDE AU GRAND PALAIS
 
1937 Bentley 4.25 Litre Vanden Plas Coupe
Chassis#: B128KT
Sold for USD$226,928
  2013 H & H - Rockingham Castle
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Saloon
Chassis#: B117KU
Sold for USD$35,588
  2012 RM Auctions - London
 
1937 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre Sports Saloon
Sold for USD$30,542
  2012 Coys - Blenheim Palace
 
1937 Bentley 4.25 Litre Vanden Plas Pillarless Saloon
Chassis#: B127JY
Sold for USD$31,042
  2012 H & H Auctions - Rockingham Castle
 
1937 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre Coupé by Gurney Nutting
Sold for USD$293,146
  2012 Coys Auction - Monaco 'Legende et Passion'
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Drophead Coupe
Chassis#: B197HM
Sold for USD$91,048
  2012 Bonhams - Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia
 
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre All Weather Tourer
Chassis#: B170KT
Sold for USD$212,901
  2011 Bonhams - The December Sale
 
1937 Bentley 4¼ Litre Allweather Convertible
Chassis#: B7HM
Sold for USD$249,683
  2011 Bonhams - Collectors' Motor Cars
 
1937 Bentley 4¼ Litre Disappearing Hood Sports Tourer by Hooper
Chassis#: B190LS
Sold for USD$208,221
  2011 RM Auctions - Salon Privé
 

Bentley 4¼ Liters That Failed To Sell At Auction

1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre All-weather TourerB7HM2021 Bonhams : Goodwood Revival : Collectors Motor Cars and Automobilia $90,000$140,000
1937 BENTLEY 4¼-LITRE BROUGHAM SALOONB33JY2021 Bonhams : The Bond Street Sale $70,000$100,000
1937 Bentley 4¼ Litre Derby Park Ward Razor Edge Pillarless Saloon 2019 Shannons Melbourne Summer Classic   
1937 Bentley 4 1/4 Litre Sports TourerB1KU2019 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach $400,000$500,000
1937 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre Aerofoil Sports SaloonB 90 KT2017 Bonhams : The Chantilly Sale $300,000$400,000
1937 Bentley 4¼ LITER SPORTS SALOONB119KU2017 Bonhams : Scottsdale, AZ $150,000$180,000
1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Drophead CoupéB79KU2016 Bonhams : The Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale $180,000$240,000
1937 Bentley 4.25 Litre Vanden Plas Style TourerB-183-JY2012 The Pavilion Gardens   
1937 Bentley 4 1/4-Litre Sedanca CoupeB70KT2011 Gooding and Company Pebble Beach Auctions $300,000$400,000
1937 BENTLEY VANDEN PLAS DROPHEAD COUPE 2001 Kruse Auction Scottsdale Arizona$47,500  
1937 BENTLEY VANDEN PLAS DROPHEAD COUPE 2001 Kruse Auction Scottsdale Arizona$51,000  

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1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle thumbnail image  1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle thumbnail image  
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1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle thumbnail image  
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1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter Profiles

1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Drop Head Coupe
Coachwork: Mulliner
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Fixed Head Coupe
Coachwork: Vesters & Neirinck
Chassis #: B156KT
Engine #: E9BH
Build #: B3044
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Saloon
Coachwork: Mann-Edgerton
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Sedanca Coupe
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Sedanca Coupe
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting
Chassis #: B70KT
Engine #: M2BY
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Fixed Head Coupe
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting
Chassis #: B 4 5HM
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Windovers
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Roadster
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: B-42-KT
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Open Two-Seater
Coachwork: Carlton Carriage Company
Chassis #: B55KU
Engine #: B7BK
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
All-Weather Cabriolet
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: B114KT
Engine #: T7BP
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
All-Weather Tourer
Coachwork: Thrupp and Maberly
Chassis #: B-39-KU
Engine #: M 9 BZ
1937 Bentley 4¼ Liter vehicle information
Sports Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: B1KU
Engine #: U4BR