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1923 Bentley 3 Litre    
Original 1923 Numbers
Chassis No. 160
Engine No. 157
Registration No. (Not available)

  This car - updated
Chassis No. 160
Engine No. DE1206
Registration No. PV 9472

(Updated with information from Bonhams. - February 2016)
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The 3-litre was a clear inspiration for owner
Ashley Havinden’s iconic 1930s BP campaign

Ashley Havinden owned the 3-litre in the 20s and 30s at a time when he was designing his iconic art deco posters (for BP above). Ashley went on to design the famous "Keep Calm and Carry On" wartime poster.

Tony Mitchell driving chassis 160 at Silverstone in 1966

Chassis 160 arrives in San Francisco in 2016

"The car has been returned to its original number plate XM 6222. It was owned in the 1920s and again in the 30s by Ashley Havinden the designer of the famous WW2 poster "Keep Calm and Carry On". Ashley was the 1920s and 30s Art Deco car poster designer best known for his iconic BP and Chrysler campaigns. All his designs were done with his friend G H Saxon "Bingy" Mills who bought the car from him in the 20s and then sold it back to him.

Ashley mentions his beloved "second-hand 3-litre Bentley" in his autobiograhical introduction to the 1970 book "Advertising and the Motorcar". Indeed he liked it so much he pranged it in 1933 and took it back to Bentley Motors for some minor accident repair. You can clearly see the inspiration the car had on his poster art in his 1930s BP campaign (above). The 3 litre still carries its original Park Ward Tourer body and now resides in California."

  Source: Paul Lee (Owner)
Posted: Dec 11, 2017

This car was purchased by Paul Lee in 2016.

  Source: Paul Lee (Owner)
Posted: Dec 11, 2017
February 2016
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Found on BONHAMS website

Goodwood Members' Meeting
20 Mar 2016
Chichester, Goodwood

1923 Bentley 3-Litre Tourist Trophy Replica Tourer
Coachwork by Park Ward
Registration no. PV 9472
Chassis no. 160
Engine no. DE1206
£240,000 - 280,000

*Early Tourist Trophy model
*Original coachwork
*Well documented history
*Present ownership since 1967
*Engine fully rebuilt in 2012

Bentley made approximately 1,600 3-Litre models, the majority of which was bodied by Vanden Plas with either open tourer or saloon coachwork. Surviving production records for early chassis are incomplete, but it is recorded that '160' left the factory fitted with engine number '157' and was built to Tourist Trophy specification and not to the typical Short Standard specification. The wheelbase of 9' 9½" is the same, but the Tourist Trophy model was fitted with a tuned engine with higher compression pistons and, possibly, special carburettors, although the records are unclear on this.

Bentley made a number of changes to the engine specification at around this time, noted in the spare parts list as commencing at chassis '161'. One of the major changes made was to the dynamo drive. According to the typically thorough report prepared by renowned marque specialist, Clare Hay: 'Earlier chassis, nominally including 160, have a geared-up dynamo drive from the back of the camshaft, with the bulkhead casting to suit the higher dynamo position. This was changed around 160 to a direct drive from the back of the camshaft via two Hardy discs, with the bulkhead casting redesigned. Given the paucity of the records, it isn't possible to tell now exactly which parts chassis 160 was fitted with when it was built by Bentleys. There is no mention in the Service Record of a change to the later dynamo and bulkhead arrangement, and given the remark "1923 model" to the top of the Service Record, it is possible that 160 was fitted from new with the later pattern direct drive dynamo and bulkhead. As now, 160 is fitted with a direct-drive dynamo and bulkhead, the former the late pattern typically fitted to 4½-Litre chassis.'

No coachbuilder is listed in the Service Record, which notes only 'High sided 4-seater'. Fortunately, Park Ward's surviving ledger shows that chassis '160' was fitted with body number '2020', described as 4-seater open touring built for Car Mart Ltd. The completed car was delivered around 21st January 1923, while the first owner is listed as C Shankland at addresses in London and Weybridge, with the London number 'XM 6222' allocated. During Mr Shankland's ownership some minor work was carried out.

The second owner is listed as Ashley Havinden of London NW6, from October 1926. The Service Record notes a test for transfer of guarantee; the new owner could have the balance of the guarantee transferred subject to paying for any work deemed necessary by Bentley and paying a £5 transfer fee. In this case quite a lot of work was carried out: the engine being rebuilt and re-bored; slack in the prop-shaft taken up; the clutch overhauled; the front axle and steering overhauled; and other minor works.

The next owner is listed as G H Saxon Mills, again in London, some time between March and June 1928 to judge from the entries in the Service Record. However, Mr Mills advertised chassis '160' in The Autocar of 20th January 1928, with the subsequent owner listed in the Service Record as Mr Havinden c/o Ashley Havinden. This is a curiosity with no obvious explanation, though perhaps Mr Havinden liked his Bentley so much that he bought it back.

'160' was rebuilt again by Bentley Motors in January 1930, this time with high-compression pistons and a compression plate; otherwise along similar lines to the 1926 overhaul. Mr Havinden is again noted as the owner in 1933, with some minor accident repair work carried out in July of that year. The penultimate entry in the Service Record is dated 17th March 1938 for work carried out by Barkers Garage, Eltham. Bentley Motors supplied a second-hand compensator assembly and a pair of front brake reversing brackets and levers, so Barkers were clearly fitting front-wheel brakes to '160'. The axle, as now, is numbered '434', which would have come from a 3-Litre chassis around '750', probably from a car being broken up. (Bentley started numbering front axles from '1' again when the front-wheel braked axle was introduced). That the conversion was not carried out by Bentley is shown by the awkward master brake rod angle, as a later-pattern brake pedal was not fitted during the work.

The last entry in the Service Record is dated 30th May 1938 for some valves and guides sent to Barkers Garage. The Service Records all end in 1940 in any case, when Rolls-Royce closed the old Bentley Service Department. Post-war owners are listed as Arthur Williams in 1946; M H Taylor, also in 1946; Mr Jordan Jnr (date not known); then Arthur Scott-Williams in 1949. Mr Scott-Williams rebuilt '160' or at least re-registered it, with the register in the Suffolk County archives at Ipswich noting that registration mark 'PV 9472' was allocated to Arthur Williams of 531 Wherstead Rd, Ipswich on 13th June 1949 for a tourer, colour black. This was probably a tax fiddle, as the tax on existing cars was £1 5s 0d per RAC horsepower (£20 for a 16hp Bentley 3-Litre) whereas new cars paid a flat-rate £10 tax. Several Bentleys were re-registered around this time for this reason, usually with a fictitious chassis number invented by the owner! The chassis number is recorded on the 1957 logbook as '16' with a third number obliterated, also as '156 S' and as '160/5'. Later V5 documents give the chassis number as '16-41JH'. The rules for re-registering as a new car involved some degree of rebuilding, hence the note 'Rebuilt' or 'Rebuilt assembled from parts' on two of the V5 forms. This is a typical tax fiddle and makes no difference to the car itself. Otherwise, '160' appears to have remained substantially unchanged. Over the years a number of components have been substituted, but the continuous history has been maintained throughout.

Later owners are listed in BDC records and a 1957 continuation logbook as A C Beasley in 1951; Frank Webb in 1955; Anthony Roy Mitchell in 1958; Paul Bevis in 1959; B Hessey in 1960; and Anthony Roy Mitchell (again) in 1965. Between 1965 and 1967, '160' was extensively rebuilt mechanically and bodily, with the original engine '157' removed and a later engine installed (number 'DE1206', given as 'DE1207' in the report: a typo), which had been fitted to chassis 'AP303' and originally to chassis 'DE1207'. This unit was originally a Standard engine rebuilt to Speed Model specification. The crankcase is marked 'G.B. 1944', showing that the engine was rebuilt by George Brown, a Birmingham motor engineer, in 1944. Fitting a later, big-sump engine would have been regarded as a desirable upgrade in the 1960s, as it is stronger than the original, with the improved, later-pattern crankcase as well as the one-piece sump. At the time of writing, the location of the original engine, number '157', is not known.

Tony Mitchell drove '160' in rebuilt form in the 1966 BDC Silverstone meeting. The following year (in October), the Bentley was auctioned, selling to M H Berry and Kingsley Curtis. Kingsley's favourite car, the Bentley remains in the same form as it was following the 1967 rebuild. It has been used regularly and well maintained, benefiting from a repaint and a new hood and tonneau cover in 1992, these works being carried out by Kirtling Garage and P&M Taylor, while more recently the engine was fully rebuilt. The engine rebuild was undertaken by Peter Barber-Lomax in 2012, with additional works by R C Moss and I S Polson at a cost of circa £20,000 (invoices on file). Used sparingly since then, this delightful early Tourist Trophy model is offered with an old-style logbook, a quantity of expired MoT certificates, V5 registration document and a copy of the aforementioned Hay Report (perusal recommended).

  Source: Bonhams
Posted: Feb 22, 2016
In England in 2006 / Owned by a BDC member
Chassis No. 160
Engine No. 157
Registration No. (Not available)
Date of Delivery: Jan 1923
Type of Body: 4-seater
Coachbuilder: No info
Type of Car: TT
First Owner: C. Shankland
  More Info: Michael Hay, in his book Bentley: The Vintage Years, 1997, states: "Now 4 seater reg PV 9472, eng DE 1206 ex ch. DE 1207."  
  Posted: Mar 01, 2007  
Submit more information on this car
Jan 19, 2018 - Info and photograph added for Registration No. GU 858
Jan 18, 2018 - Info and photographs added for Registration No. GP 42
Jan 17, 2018 - Info and photograph added for Registration No. UV 3070

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