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'Barn find' Bentley 4½ Litre Tourer sells for £454,250

Published 21 March 2019

A rusty 1934 Bentley that had been stored in a garage for the past 30 years sold for £454,250 at auction. The car, which was owned by Second World War RAF pilot Charles Blackham, sold at H&H’s Duxford sale on 20 March.

Blackham took part in the raid to bomb Hitler’s mountain-top retreat in the Bavarian Alps in April 1945. He bought the car, which was one of six assembled from new-old stock parts, in 1952 for £260 and drove it until he died earlier this year, aged 96.

After Blackham’s death, the car was unearthed near his home in Stockport, Greater Manchester. It was expected to fetch £150k to £200k. The car, which has torn leather seats and is covered in rust, has a 4.5-litre engine and was built after Bentley was taken over by Rolls-Royce.

1936 Bentley Tourer (3)

Nobby Clarke, the long-time head of Bentley’s Hendon-based Works Service built the cars to use up a spares surplus and keep staff busy. The 4½ litre has matching numbers and original Vanden Plas Tourer coachwork. 

Damian Jones, head of sales at H&H Classics says, ‘This is the ultimate Bentley 'barnfind' in the marque's centenary year.’

Of the six RC Series 4½ Litre cars completed, Chassis RC41 is the only one to retain its original coachwork (the other five have been rebodied as ‘Le Mans’ style Tourers), which makes  ‘EMF 113’ unique.

1936 Bentley Tourer (2)

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