Chassis RL 3440 was delivered new to its first owner Mr P.A. Bax in March 1929. Finished with elegant saloon coachwork by Vanden Plas, factory build sheets confirm that the 4.5 Litre returned to Bentley Motors after 2,000 road miles for a service and check over before being sold to Captain Philip Palmer in late 1929.
The 1930’s would see RL 3440 change ownership a handful of times, acquiring an open 2-seater body by Corsica in 1936, before falling into the fortunate hands of H.A. Reinche in 1936. Reinche retained the Bentley throughout the war years, before the Bentley was sold to the United States in 1951 where RL 3440 would remain for the next 22 years.
Repatriated to the UK in 1973 by Peter Shaw, the car was acquired by Robert Pearman in August 1982. The decision was quickly made to carry out a frame up restoration and marque specialists James E. Pearce were entrusted to carry out the work. Not uncommonly, the coachwork was replaced with a Vanden Plas style Le Mans Tourer body, while the chassis, engine, gearbox and all mechanical components were rebuilt. The work would take some two years and are documented in the wonderful history file that remains with the car today.
Following the restoration, RL 3440 was sold to Alan Prince, before being purchased by well-known historic racer, Peter Thornton in 1995.
The current owner acquired the 4.5 Litre from Peter Thornton in 2017. Upon purchasing the Bentley, Neil Davies (NDR Limited) was instructed to carry out an engine rebuild and some cosmetic detailing on the car. In 2018, the owner entered RL 3440 on the renowned rally organised by The Endurance Rally Association, the 10th Flying Scotsman which it completed.
RL 3440 presents very well, retaining its matching numbers engine, a continuous ownership from new with two files charting its history.
Photo Credit: Riiko-Andre Nuud, Riiko Photo