- One of only 44 fabric bodied Speed Models by Vanden Plas
- A very original and correct car
- History file containing service work carried out from 1930 to the present day
- Iconic vintage Bentley model full of character and patina
This matching number Bentley 3 Litre Speed Model is the quintessential vintage Bentley. It is particularly special as its original Vanden Plas 4-Seat sports coachwork is one of only 44 fabric bodied Speed Models produced.
TN 1563 with its original UK registration number has matching engine, gearbox, steering box and front axle numbers. At some point in its history the rear axle has been changed, however, rarely do such genuine cars come to market such as this one.
TN 1563 was first registered YB 8013 in January 1927 to Mr F Cowdell of Downings Farm, Tatworth, Somerset. In 1930 Mr. J Barr of Princes Park Avenue, Golders Green, London purchased the car. Interestingly, early service records from around this time detail “minor works” carried out on the vehicle in 1931/2 including; “4 new piston rings, 1 new rocker roller, 16 new valves”.
Ownership from then on is hard to establish until in 1946 when a replacement logbook was issued. Possession by then had passed to Dennis L Armitage of Macclesfield, Cheshire. In 1964 James Howarth purchased TN 1563 from a breakers yard, after it had been involved in a crash with a 4 ½ Litre Bentley. Letters and articles written by Mr Howarth are included in the car’s history file, together with pictures of the car, following repairs, on Lancashire Police’s skid pan test in the 1960s.
In 1969 Arthur William Well of Hambleton Nr Selby, Yorkshire purchased the Bentley and was the custodian for 11 years. 1980 bought with it new ownership, this time to Michael Bradfield, a well known Bentley enthusiast who enjoyed the 3 Litre for three years. In 1983 Mr. T. Holden owned YB 8013 until the current owner acquired it in 1990, some thirty-three years ago.
Throughout its life, TN 1563 has remained as presented today, except for the Zeiss headlamps, likely fitted during the 1960s. The car is in lovely, unrestored condition and remains highly original being well serviced and maintained. Renowned Bentley specialist Stanley Mann complemented the car in the late 1980s saying:
“Many regard the Bentley 3 Litre Speed Model with the standard fabric body by Vanden Plas as the very epitome of all that a vintage fast tourer should be and this is a most attractive and exceptionally correct 3 Litre Speed Model example.”