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1929 Bentley 4½Litre Open Tourer by Vanden Plas – Classic Cars.

100 bhp, 4,398 cc, 16-valve, SOHC four-cylinder engine, twin SU carburettors, four-speed manual gearbox, front beam and live rear axle with semi-elliptic springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 130.5 in.

One of two hundred and four 4½-Litre Bentleys fitted with Vanden Plas coachwork
Documented in detail by noted Bentley expert Clare Hay
Known ownership, awards, and history
Original coachwork, drivetrain, and suspension

Vintage, or "W.O.", Bentleys were produced between 1919 and 1931 at Cricklewood. The so-called "Derby Bentleys" that were produced by Rolls-Royce after their purchase of the company out of receivership share only a badge with their forebears. From the first three-litre car in 1919, until the last eight-litre car in 1931, Bentley was the Ferrari of its day. Vintage Bentleys were powerful and surprisingly easy to drive—once mastery of the "crash" gearbox was achieved.

Vanden Plas produced most of the open bodies fitted to W.O. Bentleys. Many resembled the Bentley racing team's Le Mans-style tourer. Vanden Plas built 204 bodies for 4½-Litre Bentley cars, and the Le Mans-style body of these cars is widely copied. Few marques have had as many coachwork and engine replacements as the early Bentleys. Many closed bodies were replaced by sporting, open tourers, both in-period and after the war, and few original bodies have survived intact, making FB3317 all the more desirable. Besides originality, proper maintenance is vital, and the value of a vintage Bentley is not diminished if it has sensible updates, thoughtful maintenance, and supporting documentation. Consequently, after 84 years, this example is a rare find.

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