Vintage & Prestige

1938 Derby Bentley 4¼ Litre Overdrive 'M' Series by De Villars

£165,000 | Location: United Kingdom

A rare overdrive car with stunning foursome coachwork by famed French carosserier De Villars - one of 5 Derby Bentley chassis built by them.

After bodying, the Bentley was displayed at the 1938 Paris Motor Show, at the end of which it was, reputedly, purchased by a French Army general. The car's next recorded owners are Edgar de Evia and Robert Denning of New York, who purchased it in 1955, by which time the interior had been re-trimmed in red. There were two further owners and then in 1975 the Bentley passed to Dominic Cappelli of North Carolina. Mr Cappelli commissioned a restoration, which was completed in 1989 by John Griffin of Montgomery, Alabama at a cost of approximately $50,000.

Since being repatriated to the UK, B8MR has been the recipient of a further £50,000 spent with motor engineer Michael Hibbard & also Fiennes Engineering. The car is thus in very fine order & ready for immediate extended use. Lee Kenworthy Engineering had recently added to the vast bills spent upon the car, including a full recent service & numerous detail items.

The excellent exterior paint is pale blue over darker grey wings with a grey flash down the side. To the interior is lovely pale grey leather & matching grey carpets & a grey painted dash board. The car is tidy under the bonnet as one might expect & has a quiet powerful engine registering good oil pressure & running cool.

The coach work affords comfortable seating for four people with a capacious rear seat. The front seats are fitted with Bugatti style grab rails to their tops. Marechal headlamps are fitted up front along with a fog lamp & twin horns. All knobs & switches are placarded in French.

The car comes to us with an enormous history file detailing minutely the various works that have been undertaken to bring it up to the standard we find it in today. A full set of tools is located in the fold out boot tray.

After bodying, the Bentley was displayed at the 1938 Paris Motor Show, at the end of which it was purchased by one Alfred Benhaim. The car's next recorded owners are Edgar de Evia and Robert Denning of New York, who purchased it in 1955, by which time the interior had been re-trimmed in red. There were two further owners and then in 1975 the Bentley passed to Dominic Cappelli of North Carolina. Mr Cappelli commissioned a restoration, which was completed in 1989 by John Griffin of Montgomery, Alabama at a cost of approximately $50,000.

The Real Car Company then bought the Bentley, imported it into the UK and sold it on to Graham Thompson in Norfolk. In Mr Thompson's ownership the car was maintained by Fiennes Engineering, who sorted out various problems and fitted a heater (see bills totalling circa £30,000 on file). The Bentley was then offered for sale by Frank Dale & Stepsons, who serviced it, passing in 2007 to Barry Brown, who enjoyed rallying and showing it over the next few years.

The Bentley passed to the current vendor, via Germany, in 2017, since when it has been maintained by Kenworthy & Co regardless of cost and used on long-distance tours and rallies; indeed, the owner would happily drive it as far as Scotland at a moment's notice. Kenworthy's most recent service was carried out in November 2019.

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