August 13, 2015

1935 Bentley Derby

1935 Bentley Derby

Here's a British antique car made by Bentley, as the picture is a Bentley Derby was released in 1935 built by Freestone & Webb still on good condition has been rebuilt. It's first new Bentley model following Rolls-Royce's acquisition of the Bentley brand in 1931. Bentley sold only the drivable bare rolling chassis with engine and gearbox, scuttle and radiator, ready for coachbuilders to construct on it a body to the buyer's requirements.

Detail by seller
1935 Bentley 3.5 Derby by Freestone and Webb. This a remarkable pre-war Bentley with an unusual and interesting history. This vehicle came to us from the daughter of a Valvoline executive who imported the car from Royal South Africa around 1970. She explained to us that her father had acquired the car in northern Africa at some point in the mid 1960s. Specifics are sparse, but apparently the seller was motivated by regional turmoil. Colonialism was shifting to independence in many African nations and fortunes can change quickly in such an environment. Some of the internal Valvoline memos allude to the car's colorful prior history.

What we do know for certain is that the car was used as primary transportation from roughly 1966 until 1970, when it was exported from Johannesburg to New York City and finally delivered to the executive's home in Ashland, KY. When we took delivery, the Bentley had been last registered in 1981 and then put into proper long term storage where it fared very well.

We had the car delivered to a local marque specialist and spent the better part of ten thousand dollars having him go through and resuscitate this wonderful artifact. She now runs and drives, I put about twenty miles moving her from the repair shop to our detailer on a variety of road types without any issues. The period tires show well and are appropriate, but should not be driven on at very high speeds.

Cosmetically, this Bentley shows very well and has remarkable patina. It's not perfect and has numerous minor cosmetic flaws in the 40 year old paint work. Personally, I think this adds to the character of the car and should be left alone. As I stated previously, the car is running very well and mechanically solid. The underside is remarkably clean and resembles aircraft construction more than it does an automobile.