1936 W.O. Bentley
4 ½ litre
Le Mans Tourer RC42
• W.O. Bentley RC42
• One of Only Six
• FIVA card
An Ultra-Rare British Gem
This Bentley RC42 is an extraordinary vehicle, belonging to an exclusive series of vintage Bentleys from the mid-1930s. Built by Bentley in 1936, it holds a prestigious place as one of only six exclusive 4 ½-litre models produced by Bentley using original parts manufactured before the Bentley Cricklewood factory was taken over by Rolls Royce in 1931, following the bankruptcy of Bentley Motors.
The R.C. (Reconditioned Chassis) Series
When ownership transitioned from the hands of WO Bentley, it brought with it a treasure trove of new old stock and reconditioned components. Two automotive veterans, Nobby Clarke, the former Bentley Racing Team Manager, and Hubert Pike, a former Bentley Director, conceived the idea of constructing the R.C. (Reconditioned Chassis) Series, consisting of ten masterpieces – six 4 ½-litre models and four 3-litre models. All cars were meticulously constructed by the Bentley Factory in their service department using original WO Bentley parts.
The Elite Six 4 ½-litre Models
Within this series, chassis numbers RC41 to RC46 were assigned to the six 4 ½-litre vehicles, each designed to meet highly sought-after specifications. These included a 10ft 10in wheelbase “Heavy Chassis” The same as the Blower Bentley chassis. A standard crank 4 ½-litre engine, the latest and most sought-after D Type gearbox, a 3.53 Speed Six-type rear axle, servo-type self-wrapping front brakes with a sturdy front axle, and 4-litre steering gear. All the best components possible at the time.
To emphasize the unique status of this vehicle, there were only six (6) RC-Series 4.5 Litres produced by Bentley's Service Department, and they are as follows:
- RC41: Completely original with matching numbers, in its original condition
- RC42: Rebodied with a Le Mans-style Vanden Plas Tourer body. Matching numbers. (Originally Vanden Plas 2 door drophead tourer)
- RC43: Features a non-original chassis number (UK3286)
- RC44: Rebodied with a Le Mans-style Tourer body
- RC45: Rebodied with a Le Mans-style Tourer body
- RC46: Rebodied with a Le Mans-style Tourer body
Among the collection of new old stock parts, RC42 boasts a 4.5 Litre 1929 chassis DS3570, originally draped in an aluminum two-door, four-seater Tourer body crafted by Vanden Plas (identified as Nr. 3471 according to original Vanden Plas Coach builder records). The car now sports an exquisite Le Mans-style body with green paint and racing green fabric, both in superb condition.
A Masterful Restoration
Originally registered as DMX 417 (with the original British registration still available), RC42 underwent a transformation between 1992 and 1994. Mark Huckle from Lincolnshire in England meticulously rebuilt this Bentley into a Le Mans-style body. The craftsmanship proved to be exceptionally well-conceived, as evidenced by the car's crowning achievement of being named the Vintage Champion at the Bentley Drivers Club 1994 Blenheim Palace Concours.
A Rich Ownership History
This illustrious Bentley comes with an extensive and well-documented history registered by the Bentley Drivers Club, tracking ownership between 1936-1948 and from 1974 to the present day. It spent a significant period from 1975 to 1992 as part of the esteemed Fuad Majzub collection, elevating its stature even further.
Traveling the Globe
Acquired by the present owner in 2001, this Bentley has been an active participant in international rallies. The car has traveled far and wide, showcasing its prowess in events such as:
- 2002 West Coast USA & Canada
- 2003 Jordan
- 2005 New Zealand
- 2006 South Africa
- 2014 Belgium to San Tropez
- 2020 Belgium to San Tropez
- Engine Rejuvenation
In 2010, an extensive engine rebuild was undertaken by the skilled hands of Bentley Specialist, John Ambler Restorations, from West Yorkshire, GB. This included the installation of a Phoenix crank and rod set and diaphragm clutch conversion. Subsequently, the Bentley has only traveled a mere 9,000 miles, and every mile is meticulously recorded in a notebook, including fuel usage.
Attention to Detail
The present owner, a proficient engineer, has shown meticulous care for this automotive gem, making various enhancements to elevate the driving experience. Notable modifications include the installation of an RH throttle pedal, a Halda trip master, additional spotlights, Blockley tires, rebuilt magnetos and starter motor, overhauled SU carburettors, an authentic Fish-tail SS exhaust system, an electrical cooling fan, and regular maintenance on brakes, steering, and suspension.
Cosmetically, this vintage Bentley is in wonderful condition and exudes a time-honored charm, reflecting its endurance and quality while being lovingly maintained.
For those seeking an authentic, matching numbers vintage Bentley with exceptional provenance and history, this opportunity is truly one-of-a-kind. It comes with Dutch and British registration documents and a FIVA ID card, and all mechanical components still bear matching numbers, just as they did when the car left the RR & Bentley factory in 1936.
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