1927 Bentley 6.5 Litre

This matching numbers 6½ litre has a wonderful story to tell. Found dilapidated in a government yard in Africa in the sixties, the Bentley started its life in style being sold through London Bentley agent, Jack Withers, to a Mrs Henry Bull of South Kensington. The Bull family were, it seems, very familiar with the Bentley marque, with Major P.C. Bull, resident at the same address, owning five Bentleys between 1926 and 1936.

Built as a 1927 Model Standard Six on the 12’6” wheelbase chassis with Standard Model specification engine number BX2410 and with the BS gearbox, BX2411 benefited from a free of charge update to 1928 specification by the works, as noted in the service record that accompanies the Bentley. This is due to the fact that Bentley rushed the 6½ litre into production for financial reasons and committed to retrospectively update all the early models. Unusually, BX2411 still has its original rod system to the brakes with no servo. The suspension is by replica Hartford friction units and electrical equipment is by Smiths. The works sent the completed chassis to Harrisons for a body frame and then to Offord for skinning.

It is clear that the Bentley was cherished during this period, with a continuous service record through to 1939 and no change of owner recorded. A steady stream of maintenance work is noted including carburettor and magneto adjusting. There is the usual gap in the services records over the Second World War, followed by an advert in MotorSport in June 1948, offering the Bentley for sale. By this point BX2411 was owned by a Mr Cowan who had fitted the Bentley with a special load-carrying body. The Bentley is thought to have been sold to a new owner in South Africa at this juncture, reputed to be a Mr D. Lamont Smith. The Bentley passed between several owners in Keyna, a period that saw several different open four seater bodies fitted to the British behemoth.

By 1958, BX2411 was in Entebbe, Uganda, owned by a T.J. Leonard. It was first discovered there by Bentley and ERA man, Donald Day who mentioned it in the BDC Review in April 1961 ‘The car has not run for at least a year and is apparently without its water pump’. We believe that at this point the Bentley was under the control of the Ugandan government.

There follows a wonderful story, written up in full in the Bentley’s history file, documenting how the Bentley’s next owner, David Gaul, acquired BX2411in December 1969. Reading Donald Day’s piece in the BDC Review he had travelled to Entebbe and tracked the Bentley down by asking for directions in a local shop. The gentleman behind the counter recalled playing in the Bentley as a child, as it had been parked under a tree on the site of a previous hostel. He explained that the Ugandan army had taken the hostel on Independence and everything had been cleared away to a nearby Public Works Department yard. Gaul visited this yard and found the Bentley in the yard’s scrap heap. Apparently, such was the neglect to BX2411, that a small fig tree, about a foot tall, was growing out of the lagging of the first silencer box! Permission had to be granted to buy government property and the Bentley was eventually acquired for the local price of mixed scrap. Gaul arranged for a local driver to take the Bentley from Entebbe to the Ugandan Company’s workshops near Kampala, there to be stored until it was sent to him in Kenya. After a big uprising in Kampasa, the Bentley finally made it to Kenya in March 1970.

BX2411 resided with Gaul for many years in pieces, shipped between Kenya, England, Zimbabwe and South Africa before finally returning to the UK in 1986. Gaul comprehensively rebuilt BX2411 and fitted it with a Park Ward drophead coupé body removed from chassis LB2348. In 1992 he sold it to Cas Scharrighuisen. Subsequently the Bentley has been passed between a small handful of owners who have enjoyed her on the road and maintained her to a very high standard.

A truly rare opportunity to acquire a genuine, ‘matching numbers’ 6½ litre Bentley, this twenties siren is just waiting to be enjoyed. An ideal companion for all the best international rallies and concours, along with the prestigious Goodwood events, its new owner will find themselves in very good company indeed.

Year: 1927
Make: Bentley
Dealer: Fiskens
The foremost specialist in fine historic automobiles, where the best cars in the world come to be sold. Their reputation is built on three, rock-solid principles: knowledge, trust and discretion; for the most important vintage, classic or competition cars, the only match for their own passion is that of their customers. The market for these iconic automobiles can be perplexing. Buyers and sellers are right to be wary of mediocre restoration or suspect provenance; public auctions come with their own risks and extraordinary costs. So when they founded their business, they decided their customers – buyers and sellers alike – must always be able to rely on integrity, impeccable attention to detail, and unparalleled expertise. They separate fact from fiction, the best from the merely adequate, and they always represent their clients’ cars correctly. The central London showrooms and headquarters are famous fixtures of the collector’s car landscape. Yet Fiskens is not about ‘front’. They develop close relationships with discerning collectors – they share their well-informed enthusiasm for spectacular cars of all eras. They have a talent for taking the hassle out of deals, however many cars are involved; they simplify issues of complex international ownership, ensuring satisfaction for both buyer and seller alike. Many of their customers become firm friends, choosing to come back time and again. The belief at Fiskens is that buying and selling old cars should be fun. Owning them should satisfy; driving them should thrill. Gregor Fisken Starting off his motoring apprenticeship on the back seat of his parent’s vintage Bentley, Gregor has always been at the very heart of the British historic car movement. As a teenager, Gregor was mentored by the legendary Bunty Scott-Moncrieff, a hugely respected restorer and authoritative author, giving Gregor the opportunity to obsessively build his extensive knowledge. Working for a respected London auction house established an international reputation that soon allowed him to open his own premises in the famous central London Queens Gate Place Mews they are in now. Not believing historic cars should be consigned to a museum, Gregor has piloted some of the greatest historic racing cars at circuits all over the world, as well as competing in modern motorsport at the highest level including the Le Mans 24 hour race four times. One of the most well known and recognised individuals within the industry, Gregor continues to build the market leading reputation of Fiskens.
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