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Car of the Month

More Bentleys in this book:

Rolls-Royce and Bentley




Car of the Month - April 2007
Bentley 4 1/4 Litre, 1936, #B14KT
James Young Drophead Coupé

Bentley 4 1/4 Litre James Young

From 1906 onward James Young Ltd. had offered coachwork for motor cars. During the early 30ies their idea to withstand the decline resulting from the World Economic Crisis was production of standardised batches for makes such as Talbot. The company survived but did not have a really sound financial basis. An attempt to attract demanding customers to invest in expensive coachwork – and thus to gain considerable profit – was to offer useful and innovative extras. A highlight were the ‘parallel opening doors’ that were developed during 1935. These doors were safe and comfortable because they needed much less space to the side of the car than those that were fitted in the traditional way.

Bentley 4 1/4 Litre James Young

The drophead coupé that was erected by James Young on the Bentley 4 ¼ Litre chassis #B14KT does sport this innovation. With its remarkably attractive design the car was head and shoulders above any concurrent anyway. Note the delicate shape of the bootlid covering the spare wheel or the adjustable windscreen – and these are but a few from a wealth of features made to highest standards of elegance and craftsmanship. However the parallel opening doors are that extra which make this Bentley rank in a league of its own. James Young had a patent on their new development, hence it is to be found exclusively on their creations; other coachbuilders had had to pay royalties if they wanted to use this, too.

Bentley 4 1/4 Litre James Young

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Despite their brave efforts James Young didn’t survive as an independent entity as in 1937, i.e. a year after this body had been finished, they were acquired by London-based dealer Jack Barclay. During the following years only from time to time a body was ordered with ‘parallel opening doors’ and a few years after the end of World War II the patent was sold to the Volkswagen company.

Bentley 4 1/4 Litre James Young

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