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1935 Bentley 3 1/2 Vanden Plas

Story and History

Nice cutaway doors

Very few owners

Fantastically original

We do like the old Bentley Open Tourers, especially in such condition as this car is and with a wonderful history to accompany her too

According to the original order form, Bentley Motors tested B 81 EJ on the 17th July 1935 and sent her to Vanden Plas the month after. Once finished by the renowned coach builders, she then set sale on the 13th September of the same year aboard SS American Farmer to the United States of America where the first owner, Paul Iacacci, took delivery.

As a lot of Bentley owners were back then, this was a proper chap!

He was a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps (pre RAF which started in 1918), Number 20 Squadron along with his younger brother, where they are credited for 17 'hits'! Paul being awarded the DFC.

Paul loved the car, and when the option to have the 4 1/4 became available to him he sent the 3 1/2 back to the UK and 'upgraded to the new model' only a year later.

Bentley Motors then sold the car in 1937 to H.H Peters, of Birmingham, the first long term owner. Mr. Peters then kept the car until April 1954 when he then sold the car to George Tinker of Berlec Ltd who kept the car in his family until the most recent owner purchased B 81 EJ in 1990.

I.E - There have been on 3 owners during this period of 84 years!!

The most recent custodians have used her well and a distance of 50,000 miles having been travelled

Journey's to Europe, as expected as well as notable trips to New Zealand, Australia, and the USA.

During these 30 years he has had many sensible bits done to the car for reliability sake all in keeping with her originality - purely rebuilds - other than the sensible overdrive, which is a boon on those longer tours - incidentally the BDC sorted that out

The back axle has been rebuilt, re-cored radiator, gearbox rebuilt, re-lined brakes, a new exhaust system and a full engine rebuilt during this period at various times, as and when required

Indeed, when the engine was removed for the rebuild, a 4 1/4 unit was fitted pro-temp so that the car could be continuously used

She was re-united with the original 3 1/2 litre engine upon completion of the rebuild.

She has also been resprayed in the 1990s in her original RAF Grey colour using correct Nitro Cellulose and the hood, tonneau and side screens have been remade also, whilst the interior is in gorgeous patinated condition, rather nicer than any we have encountered, for many a year

She has been fastidiously serviced of late, as you might expect, and the large history file has paperwork dating back to the 15th April 1954 when Mr Tinker purchased her.

Quite remarkable

The lovely soft lines of the 3 1/2 Vanden Plas are easy on the eye, and the quietness of the car - referred to in period as the 'Silent Sportscar' - has been proven to us during drives around town, whether daytime or nighttime driving.

She has lost absolutely none of her ability over the years and is ready... steady... to go on many more tours!

We shall leave you with a wonderful quote about the Bentley 3 1/2 Litre, from the great and once Director of the E.R.A, Raymond Mays:
“This is by no means the first high grade car I have owned. I have driven nearly all of the best makes and all have had their merits. Some have been very good indeed, but when I speak or write about the Bentley [3 1/2] I am praising of criticising something on a higher plane than any other make of car I have known. Where other cars leave off, the Bentley [3 1/2] begins.”


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Previously Sold
Engine Size
Transmission Type
4 Speed Manual
Miles Recorded
Chassis Number

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