Cars for Sale
We currently own the following cars which we are looking to sell. Please contact Tim for more details by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chassis Number: WMB 11
Engine Number: WXA 1
Registration Number: FLW 7
Engine Number: WXA 1
Registration Number: FLW 7
- Built for Rolls-Royce's managing director – Sir Arthur F. Sidgreaves OBE - with input from the Rolls Royce Experimental Department
- Sidgreaves requested that `FLW 7' feature an uprated engine (carried over from his previous Wraith chassis WXA1)
- With the engine including some Bentley Mk V modifications a 1939 comparison with a standard Wraith showed WMB 7 to produce 10% more power than standard and as an “experimental car”, was “significantly lighter”
- Bodied as a lightweight Special Saloon by Park Ward using a steel support frame
- Fitted with an electric division, Perspex roof over the driver / front passenger, Smiths `Hades' heater, Philco radio set and leather upholstery
- Post War owned by three Rolls Royce directors - Baron Ernest Hives, Chairman of Rolls Royce; Captain Eric Smith, Chairman Rolls Royce; and A G Elliot, Joint Managing Director, Rolls Royce
- Subsequently owned by Sir Frederick Arthur Montague “Boy” Browning, the husband of the novelist Daphne du Maurier, Sir Brian Warren, physician to Winston Churchill and Ted Heath, and Dame Josephine Barnes, the first woman President of the British Medical Association.
- Recently extensively recommissioned, painted in corniche maroon and re-trimmed. Driving superbly
The Wraith was ordered by Sir Arthur F Sidgreaves OBE, Chairman of Rolls Royce, who took delivery of chassis WMB 11 in 1939.
He specified that It be fitted with the engine from his current Wraith chassis WXA 1 and additionally ordered the transfer of the radio and clock to his new car. The engine is closely related to the Bentley MK V unit along with the rest of the cars running gear and was frequently fitted with new developments that Sidgreaves tested personally during the period he had the car. The car was truly an experimental car and the way that things were ordered by the heads or managers of each department on the chassis cards suggest he was not the easiest person to please.
The Park Ward special body fitted has no wooden frame. It has a steel base attached to the chassis and then an all alloy body fitted.
Sidgreaves had worked previously as export manager with Napier prior to joining Rolls Royce and eventually became Managing Director of Rolls Royce for a 17 year period managing the company prior, throughout and post WW2. He used FLW 7 as his own car up until 1945. He was one not to be crossed and was a formidable businessman who purchased the assets of W.O. Bentley for Rolls Royce from under the noses of Napier. He had the foresight to join forces with Sir Robert Mclean of Vickers to manufacture the Spitfire.
Sidgreaves was credited by `The Times' newspaper with "doing more than any other man to deliver the tools with which the RAF won the Battle of Britain."
The next custodian, in 1946, was Baron Ernest Hives Chairman of Rolls Royce, a very significant figure in the history of Rolls Royce. After becoming a chief test driver in 1908, he led the Rolls Royce team in the Austrian Alpine Trial in 1913. During the First World War the company designed its first aero-engine and Hives developed it successfully, by 1916 he was Head of the Experimental Department. Other notable engines were later developed under Hives’ lead, including the Buzzard, R Series and the Merlin. In 1936 he became the general works manager of the factory and a year later was elected to the board. In 1937, thinking war would soon be inevitable, he prepared the firm for a massive production increase in Merlin engines by splitting facilities between engineering and production. As the Merlin powered Hurricanes and Spitfires, this was a decision of vital strategic significance when war did come. It was thanks to Hives that a total of a hundred and sixty thousand Merlins were produced by 1945. I n 1941 Hives quickly decided ‘to go all out for the gas turbine, ensuring the company’s leading role in developing jet engines for civil and military aviation.
Vice Chief of Air Staff Sir Wilfrid Freeman, one of the masterminds behind the dramatic advances in British aircraft production before and during World War 2, paid tribute to Hives's dedication in a letter to his wife: “That man Hives is the best man I have ever come across for many a year. God knows where the RAF would have been without him. He cares for nothing except the defeat of Germany and he does all his work to that end, living a life of unending labour.”
Hives became managing director in 1946 and chairman of Rolls-Royce from 1950 till 1957. He was made a Companion of Honour in 1943 and on 7 July 1950 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Hives, of Duffield in the County of Derby.
The next owner was Captain Eric Smith, Chairman Rolls Royce, whose daughter Fortune was awarded the title “Her Grace the Dowager Duchess of Grafton” by HM the Queen in 2011.
The final Rolls Royce director to own the car was A G Elliot up until 1951. Elliott joined Rolls Royce from Napier and became chief engineer for the aero engine division whilst being the personnel assistant to Sir Henry Royce and thereafter the joint Managing Director of Rolls Royce along with Baron Ernest Hives and then Executive Vice Chairman .
In 1951 the car was then purchased by Sir Frederick Arthur Montague “Boy” Browning whose address was given as Buckingham Palace, London SW1. Browning owned the car up until 1954. During this period he was comptroller and treasurer to HRH Princess Elizabeth and then after their marriage became treasurer to the office of Prince Phillip after being recommended by Louis Mountbatten. He was the husband of the novelist Daphne du Maurier. At the end of WW2 Browning negotiated with and accepted the surrender of the Japanese whilst his then superior Dwight Eisenhower signed the official documents in front of the worlds media. During the hostilities he was promoted to Lt General and was instrumental in starting the Airborne corps or as we know it now, the parachute regiment, from whom spawned during that period the SAS. He was named “Boy” Browning due to his boyish looks and many books have been written on his life. HM Queen Elizabeth and the Prince Phillip would travel to Menabilly, Browning and du Maurier’s country home, along with Prince Charles and Princess Anne in the fifties and the Duke would go sailing with Boy. It is probable that they used the Wraith at this time.
The car then passed to Sir Brian Warren of Chester Square, London W1, until 1961. Another fascinating man who looked after Sir Winston Churchill’s health whilst in Downing Street and then became the personal physician to Prime Minister Ted Heath.
The next owner was Dame Josephine Barnes of Chester Square, London W1, until 1963. She became the first woman President of the British Medical Association.
It was then owned by Mr L Scull of Nottingham until 1974 before being bought by the late Professor Ken Britten. Amongst his many important personal engineering achievements, Britten invented the heated windscreen glass and produced gyroscopes for the first ballistic missiles for the U.S.A.
Following the death of professor Britten FLW 7 was purchased by S Willkie. Ken Britten had gone through the running gear and chassis so it was a relatively simple task to drop the sump and lift the head and to see that the engine was beautifully done. The radiator was renewed, the chrome redone and the body stripped and repainted in solid maroon colour. The interior was too far gone so everything was virtually remade but fortunately the wood was in remarkably good condition, so was repolished. The Perspex sunroof was also renewed.
Now “fully sorted” the Wraith drives superbly.
Chassis Number: B34AW
Engine Number: K5BF
Registration Number: FYL 811
Engine Number: K5BF
Registration Number: FYL 811
- The rarest of all Bentleys, 1 of 7 Mark Vs in existence
- B34AW is the last surviving Bentley chassis to leave the Derby works
- First registered to renowned dealer Jack Barclay (as 'JB 1') and evaluated by him over a two-year period before being returned to the factory.
- Fitted with Park Ward coachwork and later restored by Andrew Wood (now of P&A Wood) whilst he was an apprentice at the Rolls Royce Hythe Road service department.
- Correct type engine from Woolf Barnato's sister Bentley chassis B-16-AW
- “[the Mark V] a car, now only emerging from the experimental stage, which those fortunate mortals who have tried it proclaim to be the finest all-rounder ever built” Motor Sport Magazine February 1941
The Mark V is the rarest of all Bentleys. Rolls Royce planned to produce thirty-five experimental Bentley MK V chassis starting from B-2-AW through to B-70-AW using even numbers only. Seventeen were actually completed into running chassis due to the outbreak of the Second World War. Ten of these are recorded as being destroyed during the war and seven genuine MK V’s remain today. One of those is owned by Bentley Motors and included within their seven car “Lineage Collection” to indicate its importance to the development of Bentley cars.
The 4 ¼ Litre Derby Bentley – advertised as the ‘Silent Sports Car’ – was refined, reliable and loved by owners, among them land speed record holder Sir Malcolm Campbell. But, by the late 1930s it had become obvious that its chassis design was becoming dated. Competitors with newer designs were crowding in and sales were in decline. The Bentley Mark V was the company’s answer – but its time was short-lived, as the outbreak of WWII halted all car production until 1946. Following the war the first car to emerge from the Crewe works was the highly successful Bentley Mark VI. This was effectively the fully-developed form of the Mark V, including all the components and engineering revisions originally planned for its predecessor.
The Mark V was powered by an OHV crossflow 4257cc six-cylinder engine, similar in concept to that of the 4 ¼ Litre Bentley but substantially revised. A new and robust cruciform chassis featured deep side members, making it stiffer to the benefit of both refinement and handling. Brakes were servo driven and the four-speed overdrive gearbox now featured synchromesh on 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears. But the biggest change was the adoption of independent front suspension with coil springs and wishbones.
The first Mark V prototypes were warmly received by the board of directors and a series of Mark V Bentleys were prepared for long-distance testing in continental Europe during 1938. The company also commissioned an aerodynamic version called the Corniche; it was designed by Georges Paulin, creator of the influential Embiricos Bentley, and bodied by Carosserie Vanvooren in France. Unfortunately this ‘missing link’ between pre-war Embiricos and post-war Continental was badly damaged in a crash on 7th August 1939 in France; the chassis was returned to Derby while the entire body was removed and repaired at a local coachworks. The repaired body was later waiting on the dockside at Dieppe when it was caught in a bombing raid and completely destroyed. The Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust is currently recreating a Bentley Corniche. Another one-off prototype was an eight-cylinder version of the Mark V, nicknamed the ‘Scalded Cat’ due to its electrifying performance.
According to automotive historian Ken Lea, the Bentley Mark V was ‘probably the most thoroughly developed and tested car the company had seen.’ It was signed off for production in time for its planned debut at the 1939 Olympia Motor Show, where it would have been displayed with bodywork by a number of independent coachbuilders. Following the outbreak of war in September 1939 both production and the motor show were cancelled.
The Mark V was the first Bentley to employ independent front suspension, a feature which made a significant difference to its handling. The chosen wishbone / coil spring system was attached to a stiffer, stronger version of the outgoing 4.25 litre chassis that incorporated notably deeper side rails. The advanced engine was closer in concept to the torquey Wraith unit and improvements made included higher compression pistons; modified camshafts; reworked inlet and exhaust manifolds; and twin SU carburettors. Other refinements included synchromesh on second gear as well as the upper ratios and a divided propeller shaft.
B-34-AW is the last Derby Bentley made, being the last chassis to leave the Derby works and, as will be seen, subsequently became of considerable historical importance. Indeed, bearing in mind the post-war rationalisation of the Rolls-Royce / Bentley ranges, it is reasonable to regard this as the last of the company's truly handmade cars, the lineage of which dated back to 1908.
Chassis B-34-AW was intended to debut at the 1939/1940 New York World Fair but, owing to the risks involved in shipping at that time, was instead offered to Jack Barclay in June 1940 as a Park Ward Sports Saloon, and duly registered `JB 1'. It is important to understand that all the Mark Vs were effectively experimental cars, and the deal was that Barclay would evaluate B-34-AW over a two year period and provide Rolls-Royce with regular updates, which he did.
With the original agreement satisfied, the Rolls was then registered as `FYL 811' and sold to Mr P G Hingley of Worcestershire - images in the book `A Pride of Bentleys' by John Adams and Ray Roberts show the car was liveried in Yellow over Black around this period. Following six further keepers, it was acquired by Andrew Wood, now of the renowned marque specialists P & A Wood of Essex. At the time of his purchase, Wood was an apprentice at Rolls-Royce's Hythe Road Works. Andrew and his brother Paul restored the car under the watchful eye of the Hythe Road foreman, installing the latest factory improvements to ensure the car was to the optimum specification.
This, their first Bentley restoration, was recently celebrated when the car was invited to, and displayed at, the opening of P & A Wood's new Rolls-Royce showroom.
Following a much more recent restoration of its lightweight body which consists of a steel frame with alloy wings, boot lid, bonnet and doors, FYL 811 is now resplendent in its original colour of Corniche Maroon and is complemented by Pale Grey hide upholstery and matching Grey carpets bound in leather.
A very rare high performance pre-war “super saloon” capable of long distance touring or rallying.
TO THE WEST, WITH A MARK V BENTLEY
Motorsport Magazine February 1941
Motorsport Magazine February 1941