1936 Bentley 3 Litre Super SportsSOLD


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Registration No: CLM 338
Engine No: H6BT
CC: 3500
Colour: Burgundy / Oyster Grey
Trim Colour: Grey
MOT: April 2012

Reference Number 118975

as of 3/16/2011

Car 1936 Bentley 3 Litre Super Sports
Transmission Manual Shift 
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Known History

It is a sobering thought. Had Rolls-Royce not purchased its financially troubled competitor Bentley in 1931, the world would have been denied the Continental, Turbo R, Mulsanne and countless other iconic models subsequently graced with the 'Flying B'. Of particular loss for many, would have been the coachbuilt Derby Bentleys manufactured between 1933 and 1939. Their chassis was derived from an experimental supercharged 2.75-litre Rolls-Royce (codenamed Peregrine) that never saw the light of day, and power came from a redesigned and tuned version of the company's 20/25 engine, initially of 3.5-litres (3669cc). Fed by a pair of SU carburettors, the unit drove through a single dry plate clutch to a four-speed manual gearbox containing synchromesh on the top two ratios. The suspension was by semi-elliptic leaf springs all round and braking was by servo-assisted drums.


The newcomer was introduced to the public in the appropriate surroundings of Ascot during the August of 1933, and production of these 3.5-litre cars continued into 1937; by which time 1,191 examples had been produced. The last year's allocation was manufactured alongside the incoming 4.25-litre (4257cc) version that would ultimately supersede the 3.5-litre cars. The final iteration of the model was the MX-series of 1939, the updated specification of which included overdrive gearing, making a fine touring car even more appropriate for the continental cruising so popular with Bentley owners of the period. A total of 1,241 4.25-litre variants were produced. Coachbuilders and body styles were the preserve of the customer and the following are just a few of the carrozzerias engaged to clothe these fine cars: Park Ward, Barker, Vanden Plas, Thrupp & Maberly, Gurney Nutting, H.J. Mulliner, Hooper, James Young and Arthur Mulliner.


The 3.5-litre Derby Special being sold, started life in January 1936 as a Park Ward Saloon finished in Black with Brown leather interior and was delivered new to a Donald G Cook. The vendor acquired 'CLM 338' as a rolling chassis some fourteen years ago, the restoration of which had already been started by marque specialist Charles Haddon. The Bentley's transformation into a rakish two-door, four-seater Tourer was finally completed in recent months, since when it has been in regular use.


Between them Randal Stewart and the vendor were responsible for designing the bespoke body and fabricating its tubular steel support frame (while the louvered aluminium side skirts were also the seller's handiwork). However, the task of panelling the steel body and making the wings (steel front / aluminium rear) was entrusted to Contour Autocraft of Peterborough. The chassis, gearbox, bulkhead, front floor boards, bonnet, radiator, fascia and instruments are all reputedly original, while the hood, tonneau, hood bag, Grey interior trim and Burgundy carpets are all new. The engine was apparently changed some time ago. However, as part of the overall refurbishment the bearings of the replacement unit were remetalled by Andrew Johnston of Edinburgh 2,000 miles ago, and new valve springs installed 50 miles ago. We understand the unit has been fitted with a modern oil filter and extra water feed to the rear cylinders, and that the resulting oil pressure and temperature are as prescribed by the factory. The bumper, wheel nuts, central spot lamp and horns have all been rechromed. The Bentley's original oiling system is said to be in sound working order.


This extremely striking special in Burgundy over Oyster Grey comes complete with receipts for ú16,000 worth of parts and a fresh MOT certificate. The vendor tells us the only reason for the sale is to finance his next restoration project and that 'CLM 338', which was driven on several Bentley Drivers Club events last year, will be accompanied by a fresh MOT certificate valid until April 2012.