The oldest Bentley goes to auction

18. August 2011, from Redaktion

A 1921 Bentley with Chassis Number 3 is the first Bentley ever to be sold to a customer. This historic vehicle will find a new owner at an auction this Saturday, August 20, organized by the old-time specialists Gooding & Company in Santa Monica, California.




Roadworthy and a stable investment


The current owner has demonstrated the Bentley's roadworthiness at countless Bentley rally events. A successful competitor in its youth, this 3-litre aluminium chassis rally veteran won the 1924 and 1927 Le Mans 24-hour races. Its value is estimated at a quarter of a million US dollars.


Number three, but still number one


According to Gooding's Paul Hageman, the very first Bentley was a mere first attempt at a prototype. The second one was set up as a display piece in the factory. Bentley number three was the first to be sold.


Motorized horse carriage


A total of 1600 Bentleys were built with the 3-liter motor. A variation of this model, the "Green Label" was the first to break the prestigious 100 mph (160Km/h) barrier. This lovingly crafted chassis number three Bentley has a 4-cylinder motor putting out 70 hp and can reach a top speed of 128 km/h.


Interested parties can place bids on the Bentley until Saturday. An important note for all history buffs: not only is this the first Bentley to be sold, it has also graced the stables of many celebrities, including Steve McQueen and Ivor Llewelyn, father of Desmond Llewelyn, famous for his role as "Q" in the James Bond films.

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