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1925 Bentley 3 Litre    
Original 1924 Numbers
Chassis No. 869
Engine No. 877
Registration No. FY 7290

  This car - updated
Chassis No. 869
Engine No. 877
Registration No. FY 7290

(Updated with information from Robert McLellan - April 2016)
 
  Ownership History
1924 -2017
 
 
First owner J. T. Johnson - December 1924
Second owner Major R. F. Bruce - 1925
Third owner Mrs. Mary E. Bruce - March 1927
Fourth Owner Major S. J. Grose - 1929
Fifth owner Capt. C. H. D. Berthon - 1937
Sixth owner S. J. Dunn - 1939
Seventh owner N. Sharp - September 1949
Eighth owner J. E. Graveley - November 1950
Ninth owner Mr. Taylor - Date unknown
Tenth owner Lt. Cmdr. Noel G. Mitchell - March, 1955
Eleventh owner G. K. Dodds - March 1979
Twelfth owner Robert McLellan - 1982
 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan (Owner)
Posted: Mar 03, 2017
 
     
February 2017
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The chassis assembled and with new paint

Chassis about to receive the body

Body joins the chassis and fitted with battery and tool box.

More progress

The polished aluminum dash board was a rare option that was a special Vanden Plas order.

It is as comfortable as it looks

Complete with new car smell

Tool box for  proper tools

The completed rebuilt engine in place

Waiting on the shipping transport

Ready to come home

Ready to come home
 
 

ARTICLE
Chasing cars and catching chassis 869

 
     
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan (Owner)
Posted: Feb 23, 2017
 
     
August 2016
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Left to right: Susan Culleton, Bea McLellan,
Robert McLellan, Jim Pearce

Robert McLellan & Jim Pearce

Left to right: David Pearce, Jim Pearce,
Robert McLellan
 
 

"It had been several years since I had been back to England so this Silverstone 2016 trip was much anticipated. It was my wife's first time visit to the birth place of Bentleys and we started our vacation by seeing the sights in London. Then Bea and I were off to Horsham where we met Sue and Merlin Culleton. Sue is the great niece of Mary Bruce of Colliston Castle, the former owner of our car, chassis 869. Her granddad, J.C. Neville joined Bentley Motors in July of 1926. We had a most enjoyable visit and they joined us for a day with Jim and David Pearce who have been diligently restoring our 3 Litre Bentley. Although not finished in time for Silverstone, it will be completed in October this year (2016) and will be back in Texas for numerous tours. It looks spectacular and you will soon have a full account of it."

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan (Owner)
Posted: Feb 23, 2017
 
     
 

"I believe you said your 3 litre is presently having some restoration work done in the UK. This car used to belong to my very good friend George Dodds and I would love to see it again."

 
     
     
  Source: Richard Freestone
Posted: Apr 13, 2016
 
     
  2000  
     
 

Our Bentley keeps good company with our 1937 Cord while waiting to be restored.

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  Source: Robert McLellan (Owner)
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1988  
     
 

Oct. 13-18, 1988 - Visit to Houston by former owner, Lt. Col. N. G. (Noel) Mitchell and his wife, Rosemarie.

Lt. Col. N. G. (Noel) Mitchell
Flat One, Crofton, Stanford Road
Bowdon, Cheshire WA14 2JN, England

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Apr. 1988 - Stanley Sedgwick visited and we drove to see Dick Burdick.


Mar. 1988 - Jim and Chris Pearce visited. We vacationed together and Jim did additional restoration work.

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  Source: Robert McLellan (Owner)
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1987  
     
 

Dec. 29, 1987 - Body restoration completed and returned to me.


The body striped by Jim Pearce.

Going back together, the body takes shape.

reparing the body for its return
 
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Jul. 1987 - I was appointed Texas Regional Chairman of the BDC.

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan (Owner)
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1984  
     
 

Jun. 30, 1984 - Attended the BDC Kensington Gardens Concours. Met Gibbs Pancheri, Billy Rockell (he remembered Service Engine SE7) and Tim Houlding there.

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan (Owner)
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1983  
     
 
Photographs taken in Houston, Texas, in June of 1983
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  Source: Robert McLellan (Owner)
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
1982
     
 
At home in Houston, Texas, in 1982
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Photographs taken at Bentley Drivers Club Meet in Clear Lake, Texas, in 1982

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May 14-16, 1982 - Rolls-Royce Owners Club Spring Meet in Salado, Texas. The Bentley took 1st place in "Vintage Bentley Class", with two others in the class, and won the "Longest Distance Driven" award.

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My first year of membership in the BDC. I applied / paid ($67.87) for BDC membership on Nov. 18, 1981, but first year as a member was 1982.

My first drive in Houston, Texas, in Mar. 1982
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Mar. 8, 1982 - Picked car up at Galveston, Texas, port.

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  Source: Robert McLellan (Owner)
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1981  
     
 

Nov. 24, 1981 - Letter from George Dodds. Click here for transcript of letter.

Oct. 1981
- The following ad appears in "Thoroughbred & Clasic Cars" magazine, page 113, and was placed by Dodds. Roland Duce, a dealer, purchased the car prior to the ad appearing on newsstands in September.

BENTLEY 1924 3 litre, red label, original
Aluminium, v.d.p. body, recent engine,
radiator, clutch rebuilds. New MOT. £19,750.
01-366 7056. (X6339)

The following photographs were taken at the home of Roland Duce in September 1981
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Aug. 21 - Sep. 5, 1981 - I made several trips to examine and drive the car. Although mechanically excellent, I requested that Duce do a repaint, new hood, new tonneau, new rubber, dashboard repair, new nickel trim, new speedometer cable and overall "tidy up". I paid $41,584 (£23,000) for the car and an additional $3,997.35 for the work and became the twelfth owner.

--------------------------------------------------

I had contacted Nick Hayes prior to my August trip to England with request for locating an appropriate 3 litre Bentley for me to purchase. I had purchased a 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 MKI from Roland Duce in 1976 through Nick Hayes. Roland paid the full £19,750 to George Dodds.

Aug. 1, 1981 - Department of Transportation Test Certificate - Done by George Dodds on completion of mechanical overhaul and then put car up for sale.

 
     
 
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  Source: Robert McLellan (Owner)
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  Pre-1981  
 

"I am a long time BDC member and an avid collector of photographs and articles on Vintage Bentleys.

I do not have a photo of your Bentley FY7290 / 869 but my notes tell me that it participated in the Manchester to Blackpool car rally. This was an annual rally which I used to attend. I don't know which year this was but presumably it was pre-1981."

 
     
     
  Source: Ian Gibson
Posted: Nov 24, 2014
 
     
  1980  
     
 
Registration No. FY 7290 participated in this LeMans Race. It can be seen in the third photograph.
 
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The following photographs were taken before and during the Jun. 1980 LeMans Race.
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  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1979  
     
 

May 1979 - Registered as noted by following registration documents.

 
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Work done by George Dodds:
Engine rebored. Clutch relined. New pistons, valves, guides, tappets, cross shaft gears, thermostat, main bearings, big ends and small ends, water jacket plates, stainless steel water rail filter, stainless exhaust studs, bearing on front end of turret, crankshaft thrust bearings, tires and tubes, exhaust system fitted (excluding the original fish tail) and 4 lb. spring clutch. Rebuilt water pump and radiator.

G. K. (George Kilpatrick) purchased car in Mar. 1979 from Stanley Mann, a dealer who had advertised it for sale in "MotorSport" magazine. Dodds became a BDC member in Mar. 1979, or was already one, and was just notifying them of the purchase.

Mar. 1979 - G. K. Dodds (11th owner) purchased car.

G. K. Dodds
127 Birkbeck Road, Endfield
Middlesex, 01-366-7056

The following ad appeared on page 262 in the Feb. 1979 issue of "Motor Sport" magazine.
FY 7920 also appeared in similar ads on page 410 in the Mar. 1979 issue and on page 570
in the Apr. 1979 issue.
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1979 - Early 1979 Mitchell sells car to Stanley Mann (a dealer).
 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1970 - 1979  
     
 
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"A photo I took in 1972, Manchester to Blackpool Rally. Location, Albert Square, Manchester." — Michael Hasleden, Aug 18, 2011
 
 
     
 

"Hi, I thought you might like to see the attached photo (left above) of the car being driven. This would be at a rally in or around the North West UK, probably in the mid-1970s. My grandfather, Noel Mitchell is the driver." - Phil Quellyn-Roberts (Grandson of former owner)

"It is always a great surprise to see photos of my car. Thank you very much. The photo seems to match the date of 1972 based on the other pictures on this page. It was extremely nice to have Noel and Rosemarie come and see the car in 1988. I wish they were around to see it now. Wouldn't Noel love to get behind the wheel. Again, I greatly appreciative the photo and if you come across any more photos, I would enjoy them." - Robert McLellan, VintageBentleys.org

~~

"Hi Robert, Have been looking through the scrap books... You may not have this photo (left above) of Noel driving through Manchester on some rally or other!? Unfortunately we cannot make out which, on the top of the number 52 plate, but a consensus is forming around " The Daily Telegraph"!? - Gordon Imrie

"Thank you Gordon! I just got this photo from Phil Quellyn-Roberts too. This is a 1972 picture" - Robert McLellan, VintageBentleys.org

Source: Phil Quellyn-Roberts (Grandson of former owner) and Gordon Imrie
Posted: Sep 17, 2016

 
     
 
--------------------------------------------------
 
     
 

A new address appears in "BDC Review", No. 106, Nov. 1972 (page 356), as a reinstated member:

Fulmar House
Stamford Road
Bowdon, Cheshire

--------------------------------------------------

"This Bentley participated in the Manchester to Blackpool Veteran & Vintage Car Run for the consecutive years of 1971-1979."

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  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1955 - 1969  
     
 

Noel Mitchell Correspondence
"We used to race the car at Oulton Park at BDC meetings and also in VSCC Richard Seaman meetings. Also in local rallies for many years and the "Daily Telegraph" Manchester to Blackpool in which I won the Vauxhall Trophy." (Sep. 1983 letter from Mitchell telling about history of car.)

--------------------------------------------------

Noel and Rosemarie Mitchell in the 1960s.

FY 7290 at race track in the 1950s.

FY 7290 on race track in the 1950s.
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Lt. Cmdr. N. G. Mitchell, R. N. V. R.
Calabar Cottage, Woodville Road
Bowdon, Cheshire, England

N. G. (Noel Goodwell) Mitchell became a BDC member in Mar. 1955. His name and address appear in "BDC Review", No. 37, Jun. 1955. He is mentioned in "BDC Review", Jul. 1962 (page 203), and again in Oct. 1969 (page 329). His address in Registration Book, dated 4 June 1971, is:

River Place
City Road
Cheshire

Mar. 1955 - Lt. Cmdr. N. G. Mitchell (tenth owner) bought car from Mr. Taylor who was a "Mechanic at Pelican Garage, Timberly, Cheshire - emigrating to Australia - bought for £350 to pay his fare".

--------------------------------------------------

Jun. 15, 1969 - N. G. Mitchell attended BDC Vintage Racing meet at Oulton Park in FY 7290 according to information in "BDC Review", No. 94, p. 329.

--------------------------------------------------


"Hello Robert, my husband avidly reads your newsletter and asks me all the time "whatever happened to "Ben" — do you still have FY 7290, Chassis #869? Prompted by him, I looked through some old papers of my late father, Noel Mitchell and found an original post war registration book, dating from July 1948..." — Patricia Imrie (Daughter of former owner, Noel Mitchell), Aug 01, 2012

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1950  
     
 

Graveley sold car to Mr. Taylor (ninth owner). Date unknown.

Nov. 1950 (Refers to date J. E. Graveley became a BDC member.)

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1949  
     
 

Sharp sold car to J. E. Graveley (eighth owner)

Sep. 1949 (Refers to date N. Sharp became a BDC member.)

N. Sharp, Esq. (seventh owner)
6 Maybury House
The Ridge, Woking
Surrey

Purchased in 1949? N. Sharp because a BDC member in Sep. 1949. His name and address appear in the "BDC Review", No. 15, Dec. 1949. He is the artist who did the picture on page 28 of the "BDC Review", No. 19, Dec. 1950.

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Photo dated 1949. Note that the engine is attributed to the 1928 service engine.

NOTE: 1949 Sharp photo (shown above) shows the following as compared to the way the car was in 1981: no side mount; different tool box; different headlamps; different mascot; different side lamps; and no bonnet holes / trim for carburetors.

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1948  
     
 

BDC Membership Directory does not show any record of the car being owned by a member.

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1939  
     
 

S. J. Dunn (sixth owner)
Oak Lodge, Foxhall Road
Ipswich

Date of purchase and sale unknown, but in his possession in 1939. Berthon went to India in Sep. 1939, so he probably sold the car to S. J. Dunn prior to his departure.

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1938  
     
 

Jul. 27, 1938 - One valve and eight guides sent to G. V. Morand. (1)

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1937  
     
 

Nov. 16, 1937 - Bottom half big end bearing sent to owner. (1)

--------------------------------------------------

The Berthon Connection
Capt. C. H. D. Berthon joined the BDC in Sep. 1936 while in India after having bought a 3 Litre Saloon in 1935 (Gibbs Pancheri, 1986). In 1937, upon his return to England, the service records show that he owned Chassis No. 869. Therefore, this Bentley was one of the first cars in the BDC. Apparently he sold the car sometime soon after Jul. 27, 1938 service work since Gibbs Pancheri, who met him in 1938, states that Berthon never mentioned Chassis No. 869.

Berthon is listed as a member of the BDC "The Committee" in "The BDC Gazette" from Jul. 1938 through Jul. 1939 and became the club Secretary in 1948 and later Executive Vice-President of the BDC.

--------------------------------------------------

On Mar. 20, 1999, T. D. "Tom" Berthon wrote (Click here for transcript of letter).

--------------------------------------------------

Capt. C. H. D. Berthom (fifth owner)
Madges Farm, Long Crendon
Aylesbury, Bucks
England

--------------------------------------------------

Car was purchased by Capt. C. H. D. Berthon prior to Nov. 16, 1937, at which time he has engine work done per service records.

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1931  
     
 

Sep. 20, 1931 - Sixteen big end bolts sent to J. V. Morand. Complete set joints. Engine overhauled by J. V. Morand. (1)

Jun. 30, 1931 - Four foot brake camshaft bushes sent to J. V. Morand. (1)

Jun. 15, 1931 - Two clutch rollers sent to J. V. Morand. (1)

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1930  
     
 

Apr. 15, 1930 - one valve guide and 1.8/m/mX3/32 ____ ring sent to J. V. Morand. (1)

Apr. 12, 1930 - Eight valve guides and ten valve tips sent to J. V. Morand, Esq. (1)

Apr. 9, 1930 - H. H. C. 8/m/m. Pistons and rings and gudgeon pins sent to J. V. Morand. (1)

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1929  
     
 

Dec. 6, 1929 - Car was at Bentley Service Department, but reason not stated.

Major S. J. Grose (fourth owner)
The Pond House
Chobham, Woking

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1928  
     
 

Nov. 19, 1928 - Transfer of guarantee. Eight new piston rings and scrapers. Rattle in O&G rectified. Two new cardan blocks and slippers fitted. Front footbrake and front drums skimmed out. (1)

Nov. 19, 1928 - Recorded mileage on Nov. 19, 1928 was 1,825 miles.

Sep. 11, 1928 - Two Watford mags fitted in place of M.L.S.

Jul. 5, 1928 - (Accident. Bulge in o/x of frame _______. Chassis frame and axle centres checked over for truth.) Non-lifting type box bevels fitted. Engine gears. Water rail repaired. Brown and bevel trimmed wh. New ball races fitted. Brakes recompensated and al_____. (1)

Apr. 3, 1928 - Service engine No. SE7 fitted. Exhaust manifold replaced. Radiator repaired. Float front nosepiece of gearbox taken up. New cardan blocks fitted. Rear footbrake relined. Front b roughed up. Shackle pins and bushes renewed as necessary. (1)

Jan. 31, 1928 - F.W.B. Front axle straightened. New o/s stub axle and swivel rim fitted. Brake recomensated. (A)

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
1927
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Chassis 869 once belonged to the great-aunt (Mary of Colliston Castle, Scotland) of our reader Susan Culleton.

"Hello Robert,

I have found some photos from the family albums.

The photo on left says 1927 and was taken at Colliston castle. My grandad J.C Neville wrote the information. He was Mary's favourite brother and he joined Bentley Motors Ltd, in July 1926.

The photo on right shows Mary, her home Colliston castle and the car is in the background again around 1927, I think it is a wonderful and captures a special moment in time."

 
     
     
  Source: Susan Culleton (Grand-niece of former owner)
Posted: Sep 25, 2014
 
     
 
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"Dick Bruce on the left, great aunt Mary in the
middle and my granddad J.C Neville on the right"

Dick Bruce of Colliston Castle,
early owner of the Bentley
 
 

On 10 Mar 2015
"Hello Susan,
I am just now seeing your email and the photos of "our car". Between a lot of emails being lost and my being in the hospital for open heart surgery, I was not aware of your email, although Mona saw it and placed the photos on this page under 1927. They are great photos and the oldest photos of the car that I have seen. I had not seen a photo of Colliston Castle so that is a treat too. I note the car has twin side mounted spare tires in your photo as it was originally described. When I got the car it only had one spare tire mounted on the passenger side. I believe what happened was that due to the damage to the driver's side on the front of the car in the 1928 accident, the spare tire was removed due to the damage to the wing (or as we call it in America, fender).

It was so good to hear from you and thank you so much for scanning the photos. I hope you come up with more and I am as much interested in seeing Mary and Major Bruce and the castle as I would be in seeing "our car". I assume you are doing a complete history for a book, one that I would very much like to purchase when you are done."

On 10 Mar 2015
"Hello Robert
Sorry to hear you have been in hospital and I hope you are well on the mend. Very interesting to hear about the twin spare tyres in the old photo.
I am not actually writing a book, though I did have a visit from someone who is.
It was Dr Clare Hay and she came over to my mum's house to scan lots of my granddad's well preserved Bentley photos and diary extracts from when he worked for the company from 1926.
Next time I am at mum's I will have another look at the family albums to see if there is anything else of interest to you.
By the way my husband Merlin and myself are often in the States, as we have a villa in Orlando so maybe I will give you a ring for a chat at a convenient time for you,when we are there again in June ?"

23 Mar 2015
"Hello Susan,
I am glad to hear that you are pursuing our interest in Bentleys with such enthusiasm. I do know Clare Hay and have all of her books. You mentioned your grandfather's Bentley photos. I would like to have scans of the photos myself for our Vintage Bentley web site. Is that possible? You also mentioned your granddad's diary extracts from when he worked for the company from 1926. Do you mean he worked at Bentley Motors? That would really be of interest to me. Tell me more as you really have my attention.

Yes, when you are in Orlando in June, I would very much enjoy a call from you and learn more about Colliston Castle, your grandfather and of course Bentleys."

28 Mar 2015
"Hi Robert
Yes my grandad did work for Bentley Motors, he joined July 1926 starting as a fitters mate in the Service department, Kingsbury. He was called into the Progress department when "Freddie " who went on to become the Duke of Richmond left to start Kevill-Davies and March. I will check with mum regarding the Bentley photos.
Here is a photo of Dick Bruce on the left, great aunt Mary in the middle and my grandad J.C Neville on the right "

30 Mar 2015

"Hello Susan,
It is surprising news that Major Richard Bruce worked at Bentley Motors. I assume he worked there from July 1926 to his death in 1929. Another assumption made by me is that J.T. Johnson was a dealer who ordered the car for resale and Major Richard Bruce purchased the car as new in 1925. There must be an interesting connection between buying the Bentley and joining Bentley Motors a year later. The period that he worked at Bentley would be very interesting. Thanks for the photo and information."

30 Mar 2015
"Hi Robert
Just to clarify... it was my grandad J C Neville who worked for Bentley Motors not Major Richard Bruce..."

 
     
     
  Source: Susan Culleton (Grand-niece of former owner)
Updated: Aug 23, 2016
Posted: Apr 01, 2015
 
     
  1927  
     
 

Mrs. M. E. Bruce (third owner)
Colliston Castle, Arbroath
Forfarshire, Scotland

Mrs. Bruce took ownership of the Bentley from her husband sometime between Mar. 1, 1927 and Jan. 31, 1928. She wrecked the car on Jan. 31, 1928, causing the front axle to be bent. On May 4, 1928 extensive repair work was done to it. A factory service engine (SE7) was fitted in the car (Apr. 1928) while the work was in progress. The original engine (877) was refitted on completion and remains in the car today.

Mar. 1, 1927 - Top bevels adjusted. (1)

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1926  
     
 

Aug. 16, 1926 - Engine decarbonised. Four new gudgeon pin bushes. Lift in bottom bevels taken up. Top beverls adjusted. Slack in rear universal joint taken up. Eight leaf front road springs fitted. F.W.B.'s [front wheel brakes?] and handbrake relined. (1)

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1925  
     
 

Nov. 4, 1925 - One valve insert. (1)

Jun. 24, 1925 - Top vertical bevels adjusted. (1)

--------------------------------------------------

Major R. F. D. Bruce, Colliston, Castle, Arbroath, N. B. (second owner)

The Bruce Connection
On Apr. 13, 1999 Ian B. Fisken, a BDC member in Scotland, responded to an inquiry that I made regarding the Bruce family ownership of our Bentley. Click here for transcript of letter.

Colliston Castle Records
"1920: John Hoome Adams Peebles - Chaplin (owner of the castle) sold it to Richard (Dicky) Bruce (Major R.F.D. Bruce), son of the Hon. F. J. Bruce of Seaton, who was a son of the Earl of Elgin. He installed a gun cupboard in part of the original kitchen fireplace in the west tower. This room became the gunroom. In 1929 Dicky Bruce was found dead in the hall with his gun beside him." (In 1929 the castle was sold to Captain Alfred Knox.)

In 1999 the present owner was R. A. Gordon Stuart. In correspondence to me on Apr. 4, 1999 he stated that, after buying the Bentley in 1925, Dicky Bruce gave it to his wife (Mrs. M. E. Bruce) sometime prior to 1927 and, with the death of her husband in 1929, she sold it. At that time she was having an affair with a local (Arbroath) lawyer. On the death of her husband she married the lawyer and sold the castle.

--------------------------------------------------

Apr. 1, 1925 - Back axle quietened . Overhead gear quietened. Brakes recompensated. (1)

Jan. 13, 1925 - Back axle quietened (1)

 
     
     
  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
  1924  
     
 

Dec. 9, 1924 - Minor adjustments, 14/53 axle ratio, 1925 Speed Model. Service engine SE7 temporarily installed. (1)

--------------------------------------------------

Dec. 3, 1924 - Registered (FY 7290) to first owner:
J. T. Johnson
Hill Crest
Wilmslow
Cheshire
England

Johnson's very brief ownership indicated he was probably a dealer. The real history of chassis 869 really begins with the ownership of the Bruces.

--------------------------------------------------

Regarding the "Scratched Aluminium" finish on the body, I received the following from Gibbs Pancheri in a letter dated Apr. 25, 1983:

"Now, regarding your own 3-litre, 'Scratched Aluminium' was a finished obtained by rubbing the metal over with steel wool and then varnishing over with clear lacquer. At that time, it was fashionable to have the bonnet (hood) done that way, with the coachwork either in fabric or painted. A kind of dark red or maroon was most popular. In your case, I would expect the whole car to be in scratched Aluminium with the wings (fenders?) and chassis in black.

You are right, there were not all that many green Bentleys in those days, I remember as a small boy seeing yellow, white, maroon, aluminium, blue, but no green ones!"

--------------------------------------------------

Nov. 11, 1924 - Vanden Plas Coachbuilders. Order No. 1113 (page 79 of their record book). For Queens & Brighton Motor [Ltd] of Cunliffe Garage, £160. Body Standard 4 Seater Sports. Scratched Aluminium, Black upholstery and Black wings. Two spare wheels (extra wheel key supplied) at £7-10-0), Triplex glass (note that it will delay delivery) at £6-10-0, Rev Counter being supplied for fitting at 7/6, Polished Aluminium Instrument Board at £3-3-0. (More Information)

Nov. 11, 1924 - Chassis delivery date (to coachbuilder). Chassis No. 869 (9' 9 ½" wheelbase), Engine No. 877 (3 Litre Speed Model).


(1)

(1)

BDC Record
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  Source: Robert McLellan
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
EARLIEST RECORD OF HISTORICAL FACTS & INFORMATION
 
Chassis No. 869
Engine No. 877
Registration No. FY 7290
Date: Dec 1924
Type of Body: 4-seater
Coachbuilder: Vanden Plas
Type of Car: SP
Current Status: E
First Owner: J. T. Johnson
 
     
  More Info: According to original Vanden Plas Coachbuilder records, this car was originally fitted with Body No. 1113 with a standard 4-seater Sports; scratched aluminium/black; 12/1924. The original body remains on the car today.

Michael Hay, in his book Bentley: The Vintage Years, 1997, states: "Vanden Plas body no. 1113. In USA. Eng SE 7 fitted 4/28. Eng numbered 988 (1989)."
(Correction - The SE 7 engine was only fitted during the 1928 Service work. After the repairs were made, the original engine (877) was returned to the car. Engine 988 was not fitted in 1989 nor at any time during the life of the car. Robert McLellan owned the car from 1981 to the present and the original engine, 877, has always been in the car during his ownership. - Feb 9, 2017 - VintageBentleys.org)
 
     
     
  Updated: Feb 09, 2017
Updated: Jul 04, 2007
Posted: Apr 11, 2007
 
     
 
 
 
Footnotes:
(1) From original Bentley Motors Ltd "Works Service Records" which were maintained until 1939, at which time they were acquired by the BDC. Copies can be obtained from the Bentley Drivers Club.
 
 
 
 
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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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