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This particular Bentley 3 Litre model (Chassis No. 1131) was one of a total of 304 cars dispatched from WO Bentley's North London Cricklewood works in 1925 as a standard 10' 10" chassis "Blue Label" model. It was supplied with coachwork by Harrisons who bodied around 200 Vintage Bentleys in total.
It was purchased in June 1925 by The Honorable Janet Elizabeth Bruce, a granddaughter of the 8th Lord Elgin, Viceroy of India from 1894 to 1899. She remained a spinster until she died aged 76, in November 1966, and owned the car for all that time. The car was then sold and during the 1960s the chassis was shortened to "Speed Model" 9' 9" length. The original Harrisons coachwork, was like so many, discarded due to the dilapidated condition and lack of specialised restoration firms to restore it during the 1960s.
'1131' was purchased by a client of ours last year as a largely mechanically complete project but missing a body. Given its history is ideally suited to being rebuilt to racing specifications which is exactly what we are in the process of doing. So far we have disassembled the rolling chassis including the removal of the axles and suspension, gearbox, engine and prop-shaft etc. The chassis has been stripped back to bare metal and all the rivets have been checked and replaced where necessary. The chassis has been further strengthened by replacing the internal bracing and boxing-in the front dumb irons. The chassis has had an initial coat of epoxy primer.
Prior to dismantling the rolling chassis 3D-Engineers took careful measurements, and an in-house bespoke body has been designed with the owner that is rather like the early outer circuit racers constructed during the 1920s. The buck is now in our workshops and construction of the body in our metalwork department will commence during winter.