At Hampshire Classics, we have 42 years’ experience of taking care of beautiful cars and, as a specialist storage facility, we look after a number of incredible vehicles. Occasionally, we are asked to sell some of these cars and this is how we are able to offer this extraordinary Bentley Racer, for sale on behalf of the owner.
This Bentley has an extraordinary story. It started life as an Albany Weymann Landaulette in 1928 and was the 16th from last 3 Litre made by Bentley. The original engine was DN 1728 and original registration number was YW 4937. The chassis number of the car is DN 1726.
In the 1930s it was converted into a trials special by H.R.G. driver and later team manager Marcus Chambers using a Le Mans Tracta body and a shortened wheelbase. There are photographs of it competing in the late 1930s with the registration FGC 996. Marcus Chambers sold the car to his H.R.G. co-driver Peter Clark in 1938. That year, the pair were the fastest British competitors at Le Mans with H.R.G., and won the 1.5 Litre class in 1939. As war broke out, Clark sold his trials Bentley to a doctor in Bowness.
In 1965, Geoffrey Sandwith and Basil Mountfort bought the car and used it as the basis of a new hot rod special for competing at circuit races, hill climbs, sprints and driving tests. The chassis was liberally drilled for lightness and a vintage 4 and-a-half Litre (HF3184) was installed in combination with more lightweight parts, such as a new dynamo and hydraulic brakes. The car also boasts the only remaining parts from the coveted pre-war Bentley the ‘Bowler-Hofmann’ Special (HF3188) famous for achieving extraordinary speeds at Brooklands at the hands of George Harvey Noble.
This 3/4 and-a-half is sometimes referred to as the ‘Sandwith-Mountfort’ Special, in honour of its widely respected creators, or the ‘Colander’ due to the numerous holes drilled in the chassis.
The result, according to Basil Mountfort, was a vintage Bentley that could out-accelerate a V12 Jaguar E Type, achieve almost 100 mph from rest in a quarter mile in just over 15 seconds, pull off in the top gear, and reach over 120 mph. Yet it remains practical for road use, with fuel consumption of over 20 miles per gallon, and is equipped with road trim and roof in case of rain.
The car adopted the vintage registration GL 1504 and between 1965 and 1970 regularly featured and excelled at race meetings, speed trials and driving tests, driven occasionally by Sandwith, but predominantly by Basil Mountfort and his wife Clarisse. Successes were achieved at Brighton Speed Trials, the Long Marston Sprint, Ford Sprint, to name a few, and BDC Reviews tell tales of on-track heroics at Silverstone and other meets. In 1966 the crankshaft broke while Clarisse was driving at a VSCC event, but new vintage parts were acquired and modifications completed just in time to compete at Silverstone shortly thereafter.
From 1967 the Mountforts owned the car outright and in 1971 the Bentley was sold to prolific Jaguar and Ford racer and collector Peter Sutcliffe, who took the car to South Africa. The car is known to have won a race at Kyalami, and competed at other vintage events, and was sold to a Mr Gluckman in South Africa in 1978.
The Colander moved to Australia in 1984 and was seen at various vintage events before returning back to the UK in 1990. In 1992 it was bought by Howard Bevan, treasurer of the BDC at the time, who reinstated the registration GL 1504, undertook some much-needed restoration and raced it at Silverstone and Cornbury Park. Howard died racing a Bugatti Type 35B in 1994 but the car remains in his family. It has been professionally stored for the past 25 years and is in good working order.
Both of Howard Bevan’s sons drive the Bentley Racer and describe it as “a real drivers car”, “an attack on the senses” and “a visceral experience”.
The car is ready to race and is eligible to compete in historic racing events. It is a competitive car, very light-weight, having been shortened and drilled, and has a solid engine.
The vehicle comes with a very large and comprehensive document file which includes a large number of photographs. Please telephone for more detailed information or to make an appointment to view this incredible car.
- Registration date: 1928
- Engine Size:
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Transmission: Manual
- Colour: Green
- Body Shape: classic
- Doors: 2dr