• Glovebox Notes

    SCM doesn't just cover collector cars. Every week, SCM reviews a brand new car online and in our newsletters, and there are new reviews every month in the magazine. Thinking of buying a new car? Check out our reviews!

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    SCM is renowned for its unbiased coverage of the most prominent auctions around the world. Every issue of Sports Car Market is packed full of information you can't get anywhere else at any price. Find out the pro's secrets — what to look for and how much to pay for the classic of your dreams.

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  • Insider’s Guide to Concours d’Elegance

    The 2014 guide includes a calendar of events and detailed descriptions of 21 featured concours.

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  • SCM Platinum

    Over 200 cars that sold at auction covered in every issue of SCM. Our market reports include detailed information about the vehicle, including VIN, condition, options, and expert analysis from SCM's auction reporters.

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Recent Profiles

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The 4 1/2-liter Bentley was the last of the traditional big sporting cars with four-cylinder engines. In concept it was a scaled up three-liter with the same bevel-driven overhead-camshaft and non-detachable cylinder head, but output was up to 110-115 bhp and maximum speed to over the 90 mph mark. The supercharged version first seen at the 1929 London show wore its Amherst Villiers blower and twin SU carburetors between the front dumb-irons, and with 182 bhp, speed rose to well over 100 mph, without any loss of flexibility.

The "Blower" Bentley was the idea of Sir Henry Birkin, perhaps the most famous of the "Bentley Boys," in his quest for more speed and his ultimate aim of winning at Le Mans. Birkin persuaded Bentley Chairman, Woolf Barnato, to employ the engineer Amherst Villiers to supercharge the 4 1/2-liter car, although against the wishes of W.O. Bentley. In order to achieve entry into Le Mans, the Automobile Club de L'Ouest insisted at least 50 Supercharged cars had to be produced for homologation purposes. In total 55 were built, five of which were for Tim Birkin and the remaining 50 were offered to the general public.

The "Blower" Bentleys quickly became a racing legend and their speed, handling and aggressive looks quickly established these rare machines in the history books.

The example discussed here left the works in late 1931 and is recognized by the Bentley Drivers' Club as a unique example being the only Blower Bentley fitted with a Mayfair Carriage Co. body. The history of ownership is highly comprehensive and well documented.

The first owner in September 1931 was J.R. Quayle who retained the car until 1935 passing to H.ST.M. deTrafford. E.O. Hambleden-Thomas owned it from 1951, passing to I.S. Burge in 1956 and C.B. Seaman in the USA in 1961. In the early 1970s the car returned to the UK and was sold in 1973 through the respected dealer Dan Margulies to C.L. Upjohn, who kept the car until 1977. In the mid-80s another well-known Bentley specialist, Dick Moss, restored the car for its then-owner. Both Dan Margulies and Dick Moss confirm that the original Mayfair coachwork was still fitted, although it had undergone some running repairs during its life. Dick Moss had the coachwork restored, at which time some of the woodwork was replaced. Following this restoration the car won its class at the 1985 BDC Kensington Gardens Concours Event before being shipped to Hong Kong. In 1988 the car returned to the UK again and was acquired by the current owner from Duncan Hamilton.

In the current owner's enthusiastic ownership the car has been preserved and improved mechanically, and provided its owner with over 35,000 miles of splendid service. Mechanically the car has benefited from a complete overhaul, including the fitting of a counter balanced Phoenix crankshaft and rods. Many years ago the original crankcase was damaged and replaced by another correct Elektron example; the original crankcase is included with the car. The original engine numbers are confirmed on the turret and cam box, as is the original supercharger numbered 136.

It has competed regularly in major historic events and hill climbs such as Nurburgring Old Timer Grand Prix (three times), Shelsey Walsh Hill Climb (won its class), Christie's Cup at Silverstone (twice), and many more with tremendous success. It was also entered in the Mille Miglia Petro in 1990, covering over 4,000 miles traveling through France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Monte Carlo. This car is most impressive W.O. Bentley and without doubt the fastest and arguably most used original supercharged 4 1/2 litre Bentley to be offered in recent times.

Following a recent test drive the power, speed, and handling of MS 3938 can truly be described as astounding; indeed it is capable of effortless long distance cruising at between 80 and 90 miles per hour.


{analysis}{auto}624{/auto} Offered at the Christie's Pebble Beach Auction on 20 August 1995, this blower Bentley saw heated bidding in the tent, finally selling at a superb $717,500.

The price made was near the top range of the Price Guide, as well it should have been for such a well-documented, usable car.

The sale of this car at this price marks the continuing resurgence of the market for high-end, well-documented motorcars. - ED.
{/analysis}

Recent Blog Posts

  • Video of the Week: This is How You Drive a Rental Car +

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  • This Week's Classic Mystery Photo +

    The monthly Mystery Photo has been an SCM tradition for 25 years. Each week, we’ll share one of our “greatest hits” photos from the past and give you a chance to provide a new witty and provocative caption. Each week’s winner will be announced in the Newsletter. Share your caption Read More
  • Keith's Blog: La Jolla Takes it Up a Notch +

    Every car event has its own flavor, from the industrial magic of Pebble, where the world’s greatest cars emerge to be ogled by some of the world’s most influential collectors, to Concorso Italiano, where the smiling-face chaos begins when the first Fiat arrives and ends as the last Ferrari exits Read More
  • Keith's Blog: Duetto Ashtray Needed and the BMW Goes to Bonneville Dam +

    The weather in Oregon has turned, so it’s time to get the old cars out and give them some exercise. But before we talk about the driving experience, let me give you an update on the fleet. According to Alfa Romeo, our 1958 Sprint was born on April 3, 1958. Read More
  • This Week's Classic Mystery Photo +

    "And you thought that your dog's tail was a problem for knocking things over!" — Jack Habart The monthly Mystery Photo has been an SCM tradition for 25 years. Each week, we’ll share one of our “greatest hits” photos from the past and give you a chance to provide a new Read More
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Collector Car News

  • Motostalgia Offers 1955 Porsche 356 "Pre-A" Cabriolet Continental +

    A 1955 Porsche 356 "Pre-A" Cabriolet Continental (Motostalgia estimate: $365k–$405k) will cross the auction block on May 2 at Motostalgia's auction in Seabrook, TX. The car has matching serial numbers on its drivetrain and body panels, and it comes with original Certificate of Origin, Kardex, tool kit and owner's manual. Read Read More
  • HHI Motoring Festival Names 2014 Pinnacle & Honored Collectors +

    The 2014 Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance will include major international names in automotive collecting and racing when the event returns for its 13th annual celebration Oct. 24 – Nov. 2. Among those names are esteemed collectors Joseph and Margie Cassini and William and Christine Snyder, selected Read More
  • Italian Greats Swell the Ranks at RM Monaco +

    Recent highlights at RM's upcoming Monaco sale on May 10 include a 1956 Maserati 450S Prototype, a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C, a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina Cabriolet Series I, a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS and a 2006 Ferrari 575 GTZ by Zagato. Staged during the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique weekend, Read More
  • Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach +

    Barrett-Jackson's annual Palm Beach sale is just around the corner. The Florida auction takes place April 11-13. Among the featured early headliners are a 2005 Ford GT with 929 miles, a 1970 Plymouth Superbird with 440 Six Pack and a 1935 Packard Model 1207 convertible coupe. View all the current consignments here. Read More
  • American Muscle Comes to Dan Kruse San Antonio +

    This Saturday, March 29, Dan Kruse Classics' San Antonio sale gets underway. There will be a broad selection of American muscle, including a 1971 Dodge Challenger with 340 V8 (pictured), a 1970 Plymout Road Runner with new 440 Six Pack, a 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 fastback with blueprinted 302 Read More
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