Car of the Month
of the Month - November 1999
Bentley 4 1/2 Litre, # 45C , 1937 (!)
Bentley moved under the wings of a new parents company this did include
the take-over of a tremendous amount of unassembled parts. - Though we
don't talk about the recent purchase of Bentley by Volkswagen AG but about
the period of the early 30ies when Bentley had been taken over by
a single one of the spare parts was compatible to the Bentley 3 ½ Litre
and Bentley 4 ¼ Litre emerging from Rolls-Royce's Derby factory.
Considerations how to produce income from the vast amount of spares in
1936 led to 4 second hand Bentley 3 Litre motor cars becoming subject to a
most thorough overhaul with engines and chassis dismantled and rebuilt
incorporating new parts as necessary. Following this procedure these cars
were given new chassis serial numbers (RC = ReConditioned). They were sold
after having been fitted with new 4-seater bodies by Vanden Plas.
a bold step followed when a further 6 Bentley 4 ½ Litre - absolutely new
from chassis frame to the last bolt and screw - were made from the
existing stock of parts. Their specification differed from the original
one. Gearboxes were from Bentley 4 ½ Litre Blower stock. Rear axles had
been taken off the shelfs for Blower Bentleys as well as from shelfs with
Bentley 6 ½ Litre parts. Front axles originally had been produced for
Bentley 4 ½ Litre and Bentley 4 Liter respectively. The steering from the
Bentley 4 Litre was chosen and needed some modification to adapt it to the
4 ½ Litre standard steering arm length. With the exception of one body by
Corsica all the cars were clothed with coachwork by Vanden Plas and with
five years guarantee were handed over to customers.
The BDC has seen no difficulty to classify the "RC-Series"
Bentley 3 Litre und die Bentley 4 ½ Litre as Vintage because all parts
were designed and probably manufactured prior to 1930.