1936 Bentley
4 ¼ Litre Roadster by Chalmers and Gathings

A stunning one-off Derby Bentley roadster. Numerous Concours awards.

  • VINB25GP
  • Exterior ColorMetallic Grey
  • Interior ColorSaddle Ostrich and Slate Grey Calf Hide Interior
  • Mileage63622 Miles (TMU)
  • Engine4 ¼ Litre 6-Cylinder
  • Engine no.N8BU
  • Transmission4-Speed Manual
  • StatusInventory
  • StockFJ2820


1936 Bentley 4 ¼ Liter Roadster by Chalmers and Gathings
s/n B25GP, engine no. N8BU
Metallic Grey with Saddle Ostrich and Slate Grey Calf Hide Interior

After nearly a century of building exceptional cars, Bentley continues to offer the highest standards of performance and luxury with every new offering. Assembled by the finest craftsmen and bodied by carriage artisans of the highest order, every decade since inception has presented new models, each more remarkable than the previous, many featuring innovative design and engineering traits that other automakers could only emulate. After surviving as an independent brand, Bentley production eventually succumbed to financial difficulties like many others during the Great Depression. Originally conceived to compete against Rolls Royce, the 4 Liter Bentley was the final, but ultimately unfulfilled challenge to desperately save the financially ailing company. The "Derby Bentleys" were the first Bentley models produced after Rolls-Royce's acquisition. Built at Rolls-Royce's Derby Factory (rather than Crewe), these would be the last cars built at that factory before it was converted to Merlin aircraft engine production during World War II, and summarily dedicated to aircraft engine production after the war.

Initially available as the 3 ½ Liter starting in 1933, by 1936, the Derby Bentley evolved into the 4 ¼ Liter model, subsequently displacing the 3 ½ Liter variant. Among the many features, these offered 4-wheel servo-assisted brakes, synchromesh 3rd and 4th gear transmissions with overdrive top gear on late production cars, and cross flow cylinder heads. Per Bentley traditions, the factory chassis could be fitted with coachwork from a variety of companies specializing in hand crafting. About half of all cars built were fitted with Park Ward bodies, while the remainder supplied from various coachbuilders in keeping with traditions and designs of the times

This beautifully crafted Bentley represents the finest in coachwork as conceived by contemporary experts reflecting period construction in design and fabrication of the Art Deco era. An award-winning one-of-a-kind car, this Bentley was designed and built over an eighteen-year period, conceived, and developed by its enthusiastic first owner, a graduate of Art Center College of Design (the premier automobile design college) and founder of his own design office. A longtime Bentley enthusiast and prior long-term R-Type Continental owner, his love of Bentley cars spanned more than thirty years including ownership of many Derby Bentleys and a one-off Vanvooren drophead that placed second in class at Pebble Beach under his ownership.

Initially penned as a series of design drawings in 1992, the commissioning owner, designer, and builder of this 4 ¼ liter Derby Bentley began construction in 1993. The original donor car was outfitted with Gurney Nutting coachwork which was sold to another enthusiast for use in a separate restoration. The rolling chassis and driveline were comprehensively restored over the next eight years in the talented hands of dedicated craftsmen at MD Coachworks in Van Nuys, CA. Concurrent to the detailed and authentic running chassis restoration, Art Center collaborators and the commissioning owner prepared full scale lofts for fabrication of a wooden body buck and ash frame, both of which were constructed by Doug Chalmers. The all-aluminum body was hand fabricated using the master body bucks by expert metal craftsman Bill Gathings, thus creating the name Chalmers & Gathings, in keeping with coach work traditions. The resultant exquisite body work is inspired by the work of Georges Paulin, a prolific designer including the masterwork “Embiricos Bentley” from which this car evokes a great deal of influence in both style and proportion.

Over the course of many years, the build became an absolute labor of love by a talented and dedicated team who extensively documented the build process with photos and period reference materials to ensure the quality and design excellence were always maintained. Completed in 2014, this stunning Bentley was successfully exhibited at premier events achieving top awards including Best of Show at the 2014 Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance, “Best Classic Design” Award at the Art Center College of Design Car Show in October of 2014, and First Place in the Derby Bentley class at the 2014 Rolls-Royce Owner’s Club national meet in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, where it also won the Virgil Millet Jr. Trophy for Best American Coachwork on a Rolls-Royce or Bentley Chassis. In 2015, this Bentley went on to win the Best Restored Bentley award at a Rolls-Royce Owners Club event in Southern California, the 2015 People’s Choice Award at the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance and was displayed at the 2015 Quail Motorsports Gathering. In 2016 the car was offered on consignment at Fantasy Junction and sold to the current owner. Under current ownership, the car has been maintained as part of a private collection with mechanical services performed as needed.

Today this Bentley presents in beautiful condition. It is visually impressive and breathtaking in execution, commanding attention by a wide range of enthusiasts, many of whom are surprised to learn of the contemporary origins. Unlike so many phantom concepts that are hurried or fall short of authentic continuity, the attention to detail and craftsmanship are truly outstanding. The car’s condition is consistent with the numerous awards achieved nine years ago, and, other than a few minor paint blemishes, the finishes remain in excellent condition with no notable flaws. The craftsmanship and engineering are wonderful including details such as the locking bonnet mechanisms, full Marchal lighting, recessed license plate holder, and flush rear lights delicately layered into the body lines. The body lines are crisp and wonderfully formed, proudly identified in the traditional coach workers emblem “Chalmers & Gathings” located on the hidden rear hinged door entry threshold.

The interior is also a work of art, with wonderful art deco styling ‘fan fold” patterns stitched into the door panels, uniquely textured ostrich upholstery, and exquisitely varnished two-tone woodwork. The quality of the materials and workmanship are impressive, inclusive of the artistry which has been rendered with attention to authentic detail from the dashboard to the door pulls, steering wheel, and operational levers. The trunk is trimmed to the same high standard with matching high-quality wool carpet, and the engine compartment is comprehensively and correctly restored offering fully detailed features including correct Bentley components, period correct hardware, authentic trim, and finishes consistent with the era of construction for this 4 ¼ Liter Bentley.

The driving experience is both grand and sporting, featuring a smooth powertrain and comfortable transmission. The engine is well tuned and makes good power, the clutch engages positively with very good gearbox and linkage operation. The steering and suspension are well-balanced making this generally large car impressively usable. The driving manners are a strong indication of the attention to detail that went into the driving experience. Operational efforts have been engineered with as much effort as the mechanical restoration and finishing of the body and interior. Rarely does a car of this impressive presence offer such a fine combination of elegance and driving pleasure.

This stunning one-off Bentley presents as a rare opportunity for a collector to experience a beautifully realized, lovingly designed and well-engineered Bentley. This imaginatively conceived 4 ¼ Liter Bentley is every bit as delightful and composed as though it had been built in period. Elegant and authentically depicted by Bentley experts, it remains a hallmark of excellence combining modern craftsmanship and restoration artistry with vintage reverence to great Art Deco designs.

This Bentley is accompanied by an ostrich skin trimmed tool roll, wheel cover spanner, vintage license plates, various spare parts and assorted trim pieces, a spare windshield, rear wheel skirts, black canvas side curtains and black canvas top, three owner’s manuals, and reference photographs of the car under construction.

The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.

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Fantasy Junction  •  510-653-7555  •  1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608