1931 Bentley 4-Litre Three-Position Drophead Coupé

1931 Bentley 4-Litre Three-Position Drophead Coupé 1931 Bentley 4-Litre Three-Position Drophead Coupé Coachwork by Freestone & Webb Registration Number: ALC 250 Chassis Number: VA4100 Engine Number: BM7860/VP4028 Estimate £110,000-130,000 As the Depression took hold, sales of Bentley's celebrated 4½ -Litre model declined. While Rolls-Royce were producing the highly successful 20/25hp model, Bentley's newest offering, the extravagant 8-Litre, was desperately out of step with the times. Bentley urgently needed a new model to try to turn their fortunes around. On the Management Committee's instruction, and much to W O Bentley's disdain, a 4-Litre six-cylinder engine designed by Ricardo was utilised in a chassis closely based on their contemporary 8-Litre, and offered in two wheelbase lengths, 11ft 2in and 11ft 8in. The new engine had an inlet-over-exhaust design, of a similar arrangement that would power Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars after the war until the late 1950s. The 4-Litre has been much maligned and seems to be little understood, most probably as so few were built, but it's worth remembering that Bentley boss, Cpt. Woolf Barnato, used a 4-Litre as his personal transport in period. All of this said, many consider the 4-Litre to have perhaps the best chassis, gearbox and rear axle combination of all pre-War Bentleys, and as such, many were converted into 6½ and 8-litre specials. Extremely rare cars - only fifty 4-Litres were completed before the original Bentley company's liquidation - ALC 250 is reputed to be the last of those cars built and one of just 39 short-chassis cars produced. With stunning original 3-position drophead coachwork by Freestone & Webb, this is a highly attractive car. Finished in dark green over black paint with silver-painted wire wheels. The interior is in lovely mellowed condition with very dark green leather with green carpets and a fabulous wooden dash. Running and driving very well at our recent inspection, the car sounds glorious with a positivity addictive deep vintage exhaust note, and performance is said to rival the Derby 3½-Litre cars. The history file includes photographs of comprehensive restoration work, some old MoTs, previous ownership history and a copy of chassis records etc. Chassis VA 4100 was the last 4-litre chassis built by Bentley Motors and probably the last W O Bentley built by the old company. Note: A spare 4-Litre engine is available to purchase by separate negotiation. Enquiries should be directed to Sworders. Lots 50-61 are subject to Buyer’s Premium at 12.5% plus VAT at 20%