- Rare and lesser-known TT Model
- Carrying original Vanden Plas coachwork
- Recent engine rebuild and overdrive fitted
- Presenting in a charming and lovely condition
Bentley’s TT Replica cars were first delivered towards the end of 1922. W.O. Bentley was keen to get his point across that the TT race cars themselves should be representative of the production 3-litre. He made the point forcefully just before the 1922 TT: “We would like to point out that, unlike our competitors, we have not built special racing cars for this event, but instead entered three standard chassis drawn from our production stock.”
The TT Replicas had the high-compression (5.3:1) engine of the TT race cars, a special set of gear ratios, a tall 3.43:1 final drive and Hartford dampers. Most had the standard-issue five-jet Smith carburettor, but Bentley did offer the option of replacing this with a Claudel Hobson CZP type. What they did not have was the spartan two-seat racing bodies that Ewart & Sons had constructed for the team cars, the special flat radiators which had been designed to get extra speed, or the additional 22-gallon fuel tank mounted amidships.
Nevertheless, Bentley did offer customers the exclusivity that is always associated with a limited-edition model, and they did deliver better performance than the standard cars. Most of them seem to have had lightweight four-seater open bodies by Vanden Plas, which would have made the most of their extra performance.
No doubt W.O. himself saw the TT Replicas as something close to the embodiment of his early dreams for the Bentley motor car.
This car, chassis 233, is a short chassis TT Replica Model which is a precursor to the Speed Model. It is largely a matching number car and remains highly original carrying its original Vanden Plas coachwork (fitted in November of 1922) and was supplied by Car Mart.
The front axle was exchanged, presumably to incorporate front wheel brakes and was fitted by Bentley (this applied to many early 3 litre Bentleys and was a desirable upgrade), along with twin Sloper carburettors in 1928. The car retains its original registration number. The engine, gearbox, and back axle are also all original to the car.
In the hands of the present owner, the engine was fully rebuilt including the fitting of a new correct pattern 3 Litre cylinder block (the original block is retained). The car also benefits from having an overdrive system fitted. In addition, servicing, a complete gearbox rebuild including new gear set, and a magneto rebuild have recently been carried out by ourselves.
This is a charming car, being one of only 70 TT models produced. It remains in excellent touring condition and performs very well indeed.