Year: 1923
Chassis No: 244
Engine No: 238
Coachwork: Sports Open Tourer Vanden Plas Style
Full History
 
The Vintage Bentley is widely regarded as the best all-round sports car of its day. Rugged, reliable, and fast, the model dominated international motorsport for a decade. Legendary victories and tales of heroic success at Le Mans and other events in the 1920's are part of motorsport history, and the marque will forever be associated with the race track.

In subsequent decades the cars, with their international following, were frequently winning at club events and international rallies. Spares, restoration experts, and general support for the marque has always been readily available to help the enthusiast build maintain and use their cars. No other marque has quite the level of support that the Vintage Bentley world provides.

Chassis No: 244 started life in 1923 as a desirable TT Model. These cars, named after Bentley success in the 1922 Tourist Trophy race, were the forerunners of the Speed Model. They used the shorter 9'9½" wheelbase, and a more powerful high compression engine. The TT model originally did not have front wheel brakes, but many cars were retro fitted with them, and there are photographs on file of the car in its early days showing it with front wheel brakes. The first owner, Lord Westmorland, ordered the sports tourer coachwork by Vanden Plas (Body No: 3252) which was a metal panelled design finished in "scratched" aluminium and black. The next owner (by 1929) was Lieutenant Charles Ranald R.N. who kept the car until 1939, touring extensively in the South of France. He fitted slightly more modern coachwork and commissioned the artist Stratton Ferrier to do a painting of the car depicting it on the Corniche in the South of France. The next owner (in 1953) was George Seabrook who was based on the Isle of Wight. He kept the car for 36 years. After him was David Low who commissioned Elmdown Engineering, one of the most highly regarded Vintage Bentley restoration firms to carry out a full restoration. The restoration included building an entirely new body to the original Vanden Plas design, but now with the traditional fabric finish. This work was carried out by James Pearce, again, a top quality coach building firm.

In 1992, back on the road, the car passed to Michael Bradfield. He continued with the development of the car increasing the engine capacity to 4.5 Litres, fitted overdrive, and servo brakes.

The last owner (since 1999) has toured extensively in the car and has covered 40,000 miles which has included trips north of the Artic circle and to the south of the South Island New Zealand! It is rare to find a car that has such a full history, a complete ownership record, and that has had all the "wrinkles" ironed out. This can only be done by using a car and by someone with extensive engineering experience. It has been kept in first class condition both mechanically and cosmetically, and has a huge file of records and correspondence with it.