1930 Bentley Team Speed 6 Style 6 ½ litre Le Mans Tourer -
NB : This car is probably as close in specification to the original 1930 Le Mans Team car Speed 6 as you will find - the combined detail on this car is second to none since the original car was directly compared & measured
VSCC accepted as "STANDARD" as described below
A huge 38mph per 1000 rpm on GPS... this means reading 76mph on GPS at just 2000 rpm...Probably a speedo reading of approx 80mph, if the car ever had a speedo fitted - which Team Cars never had of course.... Leisurely cruising
11 short videos showing around the car AND on the move - see below :-
1) A blast by in the New Forest National Park - SEE See https://youtu.be/qKu5USY_U40
2) HANGING OUT in a Speed 6 Le Mans Team car VDP style 6 1/2 litre Tourer. SEE https://youtu.be/L2EGGuAVL5k
3) SPRINGTIME MOTORING into the horizon with 38mph per 1000 rpm on our GPS speedo. You know what that means.....it means 76mph @ 2000rpm....but more like an 80mph speedo reading! This car would do that all day until you are stopped for speeding! See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZFHMImu1eI
4) The deep deep sound of the 6 1/2 litre exhaust as we go through the D-type gearbox - smooth as butter ! See https://youtu.be/DBJjN4lhq3o
5) walk around the car in 58 seconds here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W37dLJTxni4&feature=youtu.be
6) a 7 second drive by here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o73wCxAtQR4&feature=youtu.be
7) just listen to that straight through exhaust ! 11 seconds : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gn0lpazQS4&feature=youtu.be
8) 15 second drive by : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_4i63RVO-Y&feature=youtu.be
9) a look at the engine running, 32 seconds, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pl54BBqvAqw
10) Bentley Speeding by... https://youtu.be/cOBhLu7YuRY
11) Just how fast is a Speed 6? See another Speed Six belting around the Nordcshleife in Germany :
Having won Le Mans initially in 1924 and 1927 with 3-litre models and again in 1928 with a 4 ½ litre, of all the more impressive sporting W O Bentleys, the 6 1/2, later to be the Speed 6, was to earn Bentley Motors the final prestige of winning Le Mans two more times for the by-then failing company financially, in 1929 and 1930, with chairman Woolf Barnato partnering Henry Birkin, and then again in 1930 with Glen Kidston.
Our car, GC 3333, is THE most impressive recreation of a Team Car Le Mans Speed Six, currently running-in following an incredible journey commenced just over two years ago from parts acquired some years ago from John Willment.
Historians and enthusiasts will know John Willment and his world famous JW Automotive team which played a massive part in Ford’s famous hat-trick of three consecutive Le Mans 24 hour race wins in 1967, 1968, and 1969, Willment himself a competitor and purveyor of speed equipment. John Willment ran one of the UK’s biggest Ford dealerships and his private Ford-based racing team operated as “Race-Proved by Willment” running white Ford Cortinas for instance with broad longitudinal red stripes, edged by single red pinstripes. Willment ran Ford Anglia, Cortina and those huge Ford Galaxies, F1, F2 and F3 Brabham and Lotus. Willment also had a construction company, building houses, factories, etc. They built the Cooper factory in Surbiton in 1957 for example.
What more appropriate person then to be interested enough in a project Team car spec Le Mans Speed-Six from SB2758 with original and correct 1930 London registration, GC 3333.
Of all the vintage 1597 Bentley models reported still to exist up to 1997, the 6 ½ litre model accounts for the lowest number of all at just 186 examples. Of the 544 6½-litre examples produced in period by Bentley Motors, Cricklewood, just 182 were to Speed Six specification with just 4 Team cars on the 11 foot chassis…
SPECIFICATION – Concours !
This superb Bentley is equipped with a high axle 3:1 ratio by Tim Cresswell at VBE and impressive 6:1 compression engine, with new Farndon crankshaft. The original 6 ½ suffered in the way many cars did by the post war period and right up to the 1960s, but we have the original chassis cross-tubes, 11’ 2” chassis dumb irons and engine block, the car accounted for and recognised** in The Vintage Years by Dr Clare Hay, page 1239.
The specification also includes Team Car spec camshaft from R C Moss, high volume oil pump also from R C Moss, new pistons, conrods and shell bearings, correct 5-gallon barrel deep sump, correct floor mounted auto pulse fuel pumps, team-spec batteries, fuel and air lines, fully overhauled D-type gearbox with new seals and bearings built by Tim Cresswell at VBE, a set of 8 Bentley Draper hydraulic shock absorbers in true Team Car spec – royally expensive - fully overhauled instruments, wiring loom by Autosparks, Bridge of Weir leather upholstery, trimming by Tim at VBE, hood frame and windscreen by Wessex Workshops, topped off by the most fantastic Carl Zeiss headlamp set.
The sound of the engine is spot-on wonderful – the Team specification exhaust system having a straight through exhaust. It is not however an oppressive sound track since the sound is left behind you.
One word for it - the attention to detail is absolutely STUNNING
COVID LATEST NEWS : you can now visit this wonderful Bentley by appointment
Will it fit in my garage? The total length of GC 3333 is 15’ 10” or 4.83 metres
Interesting partial trades/exchange possible - what have you?
DETAIL 1930 LE MANS TEAM CAR POINTS TO NOTE AS FITTED to our car :-
Correct 1930 Le Mans Bentley & Draper shock absorbers
Correct 1930 Le Mans Bentley Autopulse electric fuel pumps as well as pressurised system
Correct 1930 Le Mans Bentley Team Dashboard and Instrumentation
Correct 1930 Le Mans Bentley Team racing wings
Correct 1930 Le Mans Bentley scuttle mounted quick oil filler and reserve oil tank underneath in place of the Autovac
Correct 1930 Le Mans Bentley outside flip-lid quick sump filler
Correct 1930 Le Mans Bentley batteries : two 6v in series / 12 volts
Correct 1930 Le Mans Bentley double bonnet straps and guide clips, front and rear of bonnet
Correct 1930 Le Mans Bentley Jaeger chronometric rev counter - no speedometer
Correct 1930 Le Mans Bentley Straight through exhaust system - no silencer
Correct 1930 Le Mans Bentley cable operated genuine Speed 6 handbrake with remote brake shoe adjuster
Correct 1930 Le Mans Bentley 39 gallon fuel tank
Correct 1930 Le Mans Bentley superb Carl Zeiss Headlamps
Correct Speed Six Steering column
This is a January 1930 registered Bentley too…
I LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR ENQUIRY
** GC 3333 appears on page 1239 of Dr Clare Hay's remarkable 3-volume vintage Bentley work "The Vintage Years"
GC 3333 early history
According to the Bentley Motors build sheet, this 6 ½ litre chassis was laid down on 19th November 1929 and registered on 23 January 1930 to a Miss E M Buttanshaw, a wealthy lady of 44 Blackheath Park London SE3 – her property occupying an entire block – and situated in a very much upmarket 19th century estate. Her large house at No44 - now demolished – was replaced by several sets of low rise flats some decades ago now. Her chosen local coachbuilder was Messrs James Young of Bromley, 5 miles distant, the cars’ total weight listed as 2 tons, 10cwt and 3 quarters. In November 1930 at 10,386 miles, the car suffered an accident and the track rod was straightened.
Nearly two years later, Miss Buttanshaw changed the body to a rather modern and stylish owner-driver 4-door 6-light saloon by Barker, both front and rear doors mounted on the B-pillar.
By 1936 the car passed to a Mr R Woods, of 36 Queen Anne’s Gate, London SW1. In 2012, this elitist of London addresses was in a gutted shell condition, bought for £50 million and described by the London Evening Standard Property lifestyle section as “An Edwardian mansion overlooking St James’s Park is set to become the most expensive house in London — after Buckingham Palace. The seven-storey building is expected to be worth £120 million when work is complete”
On 21 September 1936 a second accident was recorded, the front axle, steering and track checked. 6 re-metalled con-rods were also fitted. The last recorded Bentley service sheet notes on 20th April 1937 that a new rear axle ratio was fitted, 12/50, so 4.166:1
** GC 3333 appears on page 1239 of Dr Clare Hay's remarkable 3-volume vintage Bentley work "The Vintage Years"
GENERAL NOTES ON BENTLEY COMPONENTS
ACCIDENT REPAIR : In Dr Clare Hay’s remarkable 3-volume 2015 W O Bentley work, “The Vintage Years”, please refer to page 1005. I acknowledge that she states that Accident repair was common... the vast majority of accidents being front end.
CONTINUOUS HISTORY : please refer to page 1018 of “The Vintage Years”. I also acknowledge that she states that over the years parts have been changed... and a significant number of ostensibly original cars that, on close examination, prove not to correspond to their claimed history
** SURVIVAL STATISTICS : please refer to page 1021 of “The Vintage Years”, I also acknowledge that she states that she does not recognise built up cars on new chassis as production Bentleys
The late Stanley Mann - the Bentley man - stated in his open October 2015 letter illustrated here : "In the recently published 3rd edition of "Bentley : The Vintage Years", Dr Clare Hay accepts the mythical ideal of a matching numbers car should not have the status that is currently attributed to it by some collectors. Hay describes matching numbers as a "fad" that has arisen in recent years. Instead, she concludes that continuous history is the real test of a vintage Bentley. Hay has analysed the Bentley Service records that exist from 1923 until 1939 and established that Bentley Motors replaced chassis frames frequently, often following accidents. She comments "Accident repair work is common, often resulting in the fitting of new and / or reconditioned major components including the chassis frame." Most significantly, Hay goes on to state "It should be emphasised that as far as Bentley Motors were concerned, the chassis frame was a replaceable item on a par with any other component." Given that even Bentley Motors frequently changed chassis frames and had no regard for maintaining the chassis numbers, there is no reason why collectors today should be so concerned with a set of numbers that match. Hay concludes "as far as Bentley Motors were concerned, the identity of a car is not straightforwardly a function of the chassis frame or any other major component. It is a function of continuity. Even if over time every component on a Bentley has been changed, provided it has existed throughout as a single identifiable entity it remains the original." This should be the approach adopted by collectors today. With thanks to Dr Clare Hay for confirming the above. Stanley Mann, October 2015."
BACKGROUND TO THE 6 ½ litre
As early as 1924 and already realising that a more powerful engine was required to propel ever heavier luxury bodywork, on the return trip from the 1924 Le Mans in a development model of the 3-litre in the form of a 4 1/4-litre straight six engine car - duly disguised but registered as the “Sun” – W O Bentley and his co drivers Hillstead, Moir, and Witchell encountered another disguised car, driven by a Rolls-Royce test driver. They both race and rallied along on the road back to the Dieppe ferry back to England until the driver of the Royce lost his hat! The Sun was clothed in a lightweight Weymann-type tourer body by Freestone & Webb.
As the test Bentley showed no distinct performance advantage over the similarly experimental Rolls-Royce, Walter Owen Bentley decided to increase the bore size from 80mm to 100mm, including a 140mm stroke to establish a new capacity of 6597cc, and so the origins of the 6 ½ litre Bentley were born as early as 1924… indeed before the 4 ½ litre Bentley, later introduced in 1927.
Improvements included a dry plate clutch over the cone type, together with a clutch brake to enable quicker gear changes. Braking was improved with the introduction of power-assisted 4-wheel brakes and finned brake drums, with a 4-leading shoe set up at the front. Compensation brake adjustment - duly patented – enabled any wear in the brakes to be taken up on the move, without the need for booking in for a service sooner than necessary.
This new car was introduced in 1926, with the more sporting version - the Speed 6 – in 1928.
The Speed Six had a multi port and later a single port cylinder block, a tuned camshaft, and twin bronze bodied SU carburettors in standard form. 180hp at 3500rpm was specified with a compression of 5.3:1. Three chassis were available, namely in 11’6”, 11’8 ½”, and 12’8 ½’ forms.
Of 544 6½-litre examples made in Cricklewood, just 182 were to Speed Six specification
THE TEAM SPEED SIX
In the name of saving weight, the Team Speed Six had an 11’0” chassis, raised compression to 6.1:1, the engine now developing 200hp at 3500rpm. This produced two wins at Le Mans, firstly in 1929, and then the following year, 1930, noting Bentley Boy drivers Tim Birkin, Glen Kidston and by then chairman of Bentley motors – Woolf Barnato.
PLEASE ENQUIRE - Interesting partial trades/exchange possible - what have you?
Although we attempt to ensure accuracy of any statement or detail, the customer must make his or her own judgement in purchasing this car. The purchaser of the above car understands that he or she is purchasing a collectors’ motor car with components that are up to 92 years old and sold as a collector item. There is no warranty given or implied due to the age of the car
Call 07973 731508