1931 Bentley 4 Litre Gurney Nutting Saloon
Only fifty 4 Litre Bentleys were built, being the final fling from the original Cricklewood company, prior to their takeover by Rolls-Royce. This example was originally a Freestone & Webb ‘Panelled Saloon’, but after WWII fitted with an open special body. The car was bought in 1954 by the last but one owner, who subsequently kept it for 55 years, initially in storage, but in 1986 embarked upon a twelve year thorough restoration, undertaken by Arthur Archer of Dunmow, Essex, documented in detail with a very large bundle of invoices. The car is matching numbers, with original engine, steering box, etc and restoration included extensive mechanical overhaul of engine, chassis, and all running gear, as well as totally rebuilding an original, very handsome Gurney Nutting body, with twin side-mounted spare wheels, louvred bonnet & scuttle, 'trouser crease' wings, etc, the mortal remains of which were resurrected after removal from another 4 Litre which the owner was very fortunate to acquire at just the right moment! The quality of the reconstruction of the coachwork and the attention to detail are really something to behold, showing dedication, genuine enthusiasm and a desire to make the coachwork indistinguishable from the original. It is also heart-warming to see such effort applied to a closed body, rather than the relatively easy to create open bodies, fitted to so many vintage Bentleys. The paintwork, upholstery, woodwork, carpets, headlining, etc, are all first class, both in terms of quality and condition. The car is offered, serviced, prepared and MoT tested until June 2020.
- Chassis No. VF4011
- Reg No. GT 1094
- Price £155,000
Snippets: Shipping, Engineering & Sowing from the Air
John McKellar Robertson (1883/1939) was a partner in the ship-owning company William Robertson which was established by his father in 1852 with the barge “Ellen”. By 1885 the company managed ships for other owners and expanded rapidly, by the start of WWI the company owned a fleet of 49 vessels (with names such as Ruby, Gen, Jasper, Agate, Sapphire) and their main trade was transporting coal & limestone between the Baltic, France, Netherlands and the UK. In the early 1920s the firm added several quarries to their portfolio including a limestone quarry at Llanddulas on the North Wales Coast, it is said the limekiln was lit in 1874 and did not go out until the kiln was closing in 1929! Prior to joining the family firm on a full time basis John Robertson served with the RNVR on HMS Africa, HMS Excellent, HMS Conquest and when he married his 2nd wife in 1935 the ceremony was held on HMS Carrick, his first wife Florence Holdsworth had died in 1928. By 1933 VF4011 had been acquired by Arthur Richardson Timson of Kettering – the firm was founded in 1898 by Arthur Richardson Timson, Charles Bullock and Charles Barber – the trio initially built bicycles, from 1903/1914 the company produced an engine-driven version - the 'Ketterina' motor cycle. From 1907 Timsons expanded into producing printing presses and during WWI their factories turned out 4 ˝” shells and motar bombs with labour being supplied by ladies as the men had gone to fight. After just 2 years VF4011 was sold to a Josiah Tomkins of Peterborough – being somewhat of a maverick farmer in 1934 Josiah purchased a Gloster Gamecock fighter plane which he used for inspecting and sowing his fields! In 1947 Josiah hired a Jimmy Nelson (exSqd Leader) to sow wheat and oats from an airplane on his 2,000 acre farm! It is not known where VF4011 was during WWII but from 1949 to 1954 the car was with Dr. Benjamin Spiers of Harley Street who in 1941 was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh.