1926 Bentley 3 Litre Red Label Speed Model Tourer

Courtesy of Bonhams

Leading marque authority Clare Hay’s definitive work, Bentley — The Vintage Years, records that chassis PH1469 was completed in April 1926 and was first owned by JWC McLaren.

The car left the factory fitted with engine number PH1470 (the same as it has today) and was registered as GD 2250. One of 513 Speed Models built, it was erected on the standard 9-foot, 9½-inch wheelbase chassis and carried a 4-seat tourer body by Vanden Plas.

The next owner, Lt. Col. Sir Thomas Bilbe Robinson, acquired the Bentley in 1929. In 1932 the car passed to another military gentleman, Flying Officer John Heber Percy, who was based at RAF Gosport in Hampshire. John Percy owned four Bentleys between 1932 and the mid-1950s.

Bentley Motors service records (copies on file) show that following an accident in April 1930, PH1469 was repaired by the Works and fitted with various new front suspension and steering components. The last service entry is dated 1937.

The next known custodian, from 1947, was a Major JC Jackson, whose success in the BDC’s 1949 Kensington Gardens Rally is commemorated by a plaque on the dashboard. Following Major Jackson’s ownership, the car was exported to the United States.

Parker Snyder of Ohio bought the Bentley in 1957. He drove the 3 Litre for a couple of summers before consigning it to his newly built garage in 1960. The car remained in storage until purchased earlier this year. Presented in barn-find condition, it represents an exciting opportunity for the dedicated Bentley enthusiast to return one of WO’s wonderful creations to the road.

Paul Hardiman

Paul Hardiman - SCM Senior Auction Analyst - %%page%%

Paul is descended from engineers and horse thieves, so he naturally gravitated toward the old-car marketplace and still finds fascination in the simpler things in life: looking for spot-weld dimples under an E-type tail, or counting the head-studs on a supposed Mini-Cooper engine. His motoring heroes are Roger Clark, Burt Levy, Henry Royce and Smokey Yunick — and all he wants for next Christmas is an Alvis Stalwart complete with picnic table in the back and a lake big enough to play in.

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