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Bentley 3-Litre Touring by Gurney Nutting, Green, for sale in Warrensville Heights, Ohio, for $274,900.
CR 9914 carries its original engine, chassis, and coachwork, making it somewhat of a rarity among the myriad of rebodied early Bentleys with engine swaps.
From the very beginning, Bentley vehicles were special. All luxury automakers of the period were capable of building powerful engines, but it took Bentley’s special blend of horsepower and chassis dynamics to truly define the market. Powerful enough to be bloody fast, with competent brakes and capable handling, Bentleys dominated early motorsports with a breed of gentleman racers affectionately referred to as the “Bentley Boys. ” Clearly machines for the wealthy, Bentleys were both durable and precise, resulting in a line of cars with a heritage of unparalleled luxury and performance, with neither virtue compromising the other.
This remarkable 1925 Bentley Blue Label 3-Litre touring by Gurney-Nutting (registration CR 9914, chassis number 930, engine number 914) is the ideal embodiment of the Bentley philosophy in the 1920s, a luxurious sports car that was both comfortable and fast, and unquestionably a very high quality machine. Of note, CR 9914 carries its original engine, chassis, and coachwork, making it somewhat of a rarity among the myriad of rebodied early Bentleys with engine swaps.
CR 9914 received an extremely high-quality restoration some years ago, and at the time won many AACA and CCCA trophies, and still wears its CCCA National First Place badges. In the years since, it has been properly maintained and presents today as a first-rate touring vehicle that is simply thrilling to drive. It shows precisely the right patina that you’d expect from a Bentley, a comfortable look that reminds you of a gentleman’s club with a long and storied history. The British Racing Green paint is acceptable, but has mellowed with a softer shine, and the polished aluminum bonnet is an exquisite touch that’s neither over-polished nor deteriorated, but exactly right. The restoration work is of universally high quality throughout, and there is no evidence that this car has ever been damaged, rusty, or modified. The polished nickel brightwork is lovely to look at and needs no polishing today, and details such as the fender-mounted running lights, beautifully simple door handles, and the winged ‘B’ emblem on the gas tank shroud add a lot of charm.
The tan leather interior has that same comfortable look that only comes from years of loving use and care. Button-tufted upholstery is appropriate to the period, and there are no rips, tears, or other notable damage to the hides, and the seats remain firm and comfortable. The walnut dashboard is filled with an exquisite array of original gauges that are a combination of Smiths, Cambridge, and AT instruments, all fully functional and simply delightful to look at. The walnut dashboard adds an appropriately warm ambience to the interior, and works wonderfully with the handsome four-spoke steering wheel designed for competition. The firewall is a massive aluminum casting that houses the dynamo, which is controlled by a pair of buttons on the dash just below the large starter button and driven directly by the camshaft. In back, there’s ample space for two passengers, although three will fit in a pinch, and a beautifully stitched storage compartment holds the fitted side curtains for the front seat. The tan canvas hood is older and shows some light water stains on the interior, but is otherwise in good condition. In addition, the car includes a fitted black canvas boot as well as a fitted rear tonneau cover. We are currently having a matching front tonneau made that will be included with the car.
Bentley’s 3-litre inline four cylinder engine was one of the most advanced of the era, offering sixteen valves and a single overhead camshaft, as well as undersquare construction that generated enormous torque at low speeds. Fully rebuilt during the restoration and fully sorted for touring, the sporting engine makes this 3-litre touring a capable performer on the open road. Upgrades include an electric cooling fan (interestingly Bentley had no provisions for a cooling fan in the original configuration) and dual SU carburetors that are a common upgrade for cars that are driven often. Beautifully finished with cast aluminum, copper, and brass, the engine bay looks like it could be from a period locomotive rather than a road car. Recently serviced, all the primary systems are fully functional and the presentation is more than impressive. More unusual is the fact that early Bentleys like this use 12-volt electrical systems, ensuring reliability on the road and a much wider availability of replacement items such as light bulbs, as well as improved spark performance. The engine starts easily, idles smoothly, and delivers tremendous performance out on the open road. In addition, 1925 Bentleys benefit from four-wheel braking, which ensures safety given the car’s considerable capacity for acceleration. Six new wire wheels were recently fabricated for the car, and they wear new 6.00-20 Goodrich tires, making the car 100% ready for touring or NAVBM rallies anywhere in the world.
This car is well-known and well documented, having appeared in “BENTLEY: Fifty Years of the Marque” by Johnnie Green (page 20), and carrying all of its original equipment.
Fast, powerful, fully sorted and with an impeccable pedigree, this Bentley 3-litre tourer is an ideal candidate for Bentley Drivers Club events or any tour in the world. With wonderful road manners and a handsome Gurney-Nutting body, it’s also practical and a pleasure to drive. Few Bentleys of this vintage still carry their original engines and coachwork, making this one beyond reproach in terms of authenticity. A wonderful machine that delivers on its reputation.
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Engine:3-liter ohc inline-four, 4 valves per cylinder
Location:Warrensville Heights, Ohio