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Registration number: AAA 533
Indicated mileage: 22,884
Engine: 3669 cc. 6 cylinder push rod operated overhead valve
Body number: C735
The 3 ½ litre was the first Bentley to be produced after the merger between Bentley and Rolls Royce in 1931. A total of 1177 were produced between 1933 and 1937, of which 529 were bodied by Park Ward. It was an instant success for the company, providing a new form of sports car motoring.
This particular example, chassis number B85CW, was originally bought new by the 6th Earl of Carnarvon from the renowned Bentley dealer, Jack Barclay, with the original registration number JB100. In January 1935, it was delivered to Lord Carnarvon’s family seat, Highclere Castle, which most will recognise today as the setting of the highly-acclaimed TV series, ‘Downton Abbey’.
Information gleaned by Lord Carnarvon’s secretary in 1993 from Jack Gibbons (his chauffeur at the time), states that the car was later sold back to Jack Barclay who, before selling it on, kept the original registration number and assigned the present registration AAA 533.
The car has been mechanically maintained by marque specialists and so drives well. It is cosmetically a little tired but eminently usable, offering the new owner the chance to own a small piece of British history. The car comes with a complete original toolkit and a set of (currently unusable) wheel discs.