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1929 Bentley 4½ Litre    
Original 1929 Numbers
Chassis No. PL3496
Engine No. PL3495
Registration No. AG 4554

  This car - updated
Chassis No. PL3496
Engine No. FB3307
(See text)
Registration No. AG 4554

(Updated with information from Bonhams. - September 2017)
September 2017
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Oct 2, 2017: Sold

Lot 320
From the Estate of David L. Van Schaick

Philadelphia Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum
2 Oct 2017, 14:00 EDT

1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter 'Le Mans Replica' Fabric Tourer
Coachwork in the style of Vanden Plas
Chassis no. PL3496
Engine no. FB3307 (See text)
US$ 600,000 - 700,000

- 4,398cc SOHC Inline 4-Cylinder Engine - 4 Overhead Valves Per Cylinder
- 110bhp at 3,500rpm
- 4-Speed 'D' Gearbox (see text)
- Front and Rear Leaf Spring Suspension
- Four-Wheel Drum Brakes with Servo Assist.

*Originally owned by A.W. Whyte of the Whyte & Mackay Whisky dynasty
*Owned by noted Bentley aficionado Van Schaick for more than 30 years
*Veteran of Bentley and other Road Tours
*Fantastic car for international motoring events

A fabulous looking sporting vintage Bentley which encapsulates the Le Mans spirit so associated with the marque, PL 3496 was actively campaigned by noted enthusiast David L. Van Shaick for more than 30 years until his untimely passing just last summer.

As is so often the case, the Bentley when new was delivered with more formal closed coachwork. Copies of the factory records on file denote it to have worn 'British Flexible Saloon' coachwork, by one of the better-known coachbuilder for Cricklewood Bentleys, Harrison and Co. for H. M. Bentley and Partners, the company run by 'W.O.'s brother.

H.M. Bentley and Partners sold it to A.W. Whyte of Ayrshire in Scotland, Whyte being part of the famed Whyte & Mackay whisky dynasty. There it would reside at Mr. Whyte's home Tudor House in Skelmorlie, which when listed for sale in recent years was described as 'an opulent home' set overlooking the banks of the Firth of Clyde. It was registered for the road in July 1929 as "AG 4554", the AG prefix signifying that region. Skelmorlie being more than 400 miles from Cricklewood, it is perhaps not surprising that the car rarely returned to the factory for its upkeep, but occasional notes are on the factory records through to the mid-1930s.

Whether Whyte kept the car through the war is not known, he was certainly still around in 1956 as Skelmorlie Golf Club note him to have been their Club Champion that year. From marque authority Hay's newest edition of 'Bentley - The Vintage Years', it is next known to have been the property of A.P. Maggs in 1957, who perhaps acquired it straight from Whyte. A copy of the reissued logbook on file notes ownership in the U.K. in 1965 with a H. Pasco and Arthur Wells of Selby in 1966.

In approximately 1972, the car was rebodied with the very handsome Le Mans style fabric touring body it wears today. Quite possibly at the same time, its engine was replaced by another contemporary 4 1/2 liter (#FB 3307), and with the intention of making it the definitive specification for these cars, a more desirable 'D' series gearbox (#D7077, ex chassis MF 3173), arrived in the car. In all other respects the rebuild must have been from a very original basis, since, chassis, front and back axles, steering column and even hood/bonnet sides retain correct stampings confirming them to be original to the car. For unknown reasons, it wears the switch cluster of PL 3493.

By 1983 the 'WO' was acquired by noted connoisseur Frank Allocca of New Jersey. Mr. Allocca was attentively waiting the completion of the restoration of a 3 Liter, which he'd hoped to use on the North American Vintage Bentley tour's second edition, and when that was looking unlikely he promptly called Stanley Mann in the U.K. and bought PL 3496 over the phone! The car was flown over to the U.S. and has been here ever since. When in turn Allocca's 3 Liter returned to the road, the 4 1/2 was surplus to requirements, at this point David Van Schaick stepped in and acquired it from him.

Over the course of the next three decades, Mr. Van Schaick would exercise the Bentley with great regularity, his charming personality matched by the bold bravado of the Le Mans rep. as a combination to be reckoned with on any event! This included numerous editions of Bentley Club rallies, multiple Colorado Grands, etc. Throughout this time, the car was systematically maintained by noted American experts in prewar cars, such as David George of D.L. George Coachworks in Cochranville, Pennsylvania and Donald Koleman of Competition Motors in New Hampshire.

In the 45 years since its Le Mans rep. rebuild the car has gained an appropriate patina to its aesthetics that such a warhorse should have, and it is all the more appealing for it. Today, having been unused in the last 18-24 months, the car has been returned to the road and was running and driving at the time of catalog preparation, but a thorough check over might be advised before beginning its next more major event. When it does, perhaps after a long day of touring, a glass Whyte and Mackay Special whisky might be in order!

  Source: Bonhams
Posted: Sep 13, 2017
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David L. Van Schaick Sr., owner of AG 4554 passed away on August 8, 2016.

Ed Hyman writes: "I lost one of my best friends last night – more so the VSCCA, AMOC, ABC, BDC and others lost a shining light. David L. Van Schaick Sr. was kind and generous and never forgot who his friends were -– he always looked forward to the next event where he could visit with old friends."

  Source: Ed Hyman, AutoPhotos
Posted: Aug 19, 2016
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Photographs were taken at the NAVBM 2012.

  Source: Edward LaBounty
Updated: Jul 23, 2012
Posted: Jul 19, 2012
May 2010
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These photos were taken at the NAVBM 2010 by Edward LaBounty.

  Source: Edward LaBounty
Posted: Aug 27, 2010
March 2010

This car is owned by David Van Schaick (in PA, USA)

  Source: Thurston Twigg-Smith Jr.
Posted: Mar 09, 2010
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Photographs were taken during 2007 Vanderbilt Concours in Newport, Rhode Island.

  Source: Ed Hyman
Updated: Dec 26, 2007
Posted: Nov 27, 2007
In USA in 2006 / Owned by a BDC & RROC member
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Photographs were taken during 2006 Radnor Hunt Rally and Concours in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

  Source: Ed Hyman
Updated: Dec 24, 2007
Nov 27, 2007
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  Source: Unknown
Posted: Nov 06, 2006
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This photograph was taken by Edward LaBounty during the 2005 NAVBM.

  Source: Edward LaBounty
Posted: Feb 27, 2009
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Photographs were taken during 2005 Vintage Sports Car Club of America / Jaguar meet at Lime Rock Park. Seen in blue is the owner, David Van Schaick.

  Source: Ed Hyman & Thurston Twigg-Smith Jr.
Updated: Mar 09, 2010
Posted: Dec 26, 2007
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  Source: Unknown
Posted: Sep 18, 2006
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  Source: Ed Hyman
Posted: Nov 23, 2007
Chassis No. PL3496
Engine No. PL3495
Registration No. AG 4554
Date of Delivery: Jul 1929
Type of Body: Saloon
Coachbuilder: Harrison
Type of Car: No info
First Owner: A. W. Whyte
  More Info: Michael Hay, in his book Bentley: The Vintage Years, 1997, states: "Now Vanden Plas 4 seater in USA with engine XF 3513 ex chassis XF 3514."  
  Posted: Mar 01, 2007  
Submit more information on this car
Jan 18, 2017 - Info and photographs added for Registration No. GP 42
Jan 17, 2017 - Info and photograph added for Registration No. UV 3070
Jan 15, 2017 - Information received from Adrian Cole for Registration No. HR 9538

October 2017 issue
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