Gooding & Co offers 'oldest surviving production Bentley in existence'


Here it is: the oldest surviving production Bentley car in existence, aka Chassis 3.

One of the most important Bentleys in existence, this 1921 Bentley 3 Litre was the first customer car to leave the Bentley factory.

Today, it remains an extraordinary, matching-numbers car with brass brightwork and an original aluminium body, also with a fully disappearing top as specified by the first owner.

The car's provenance includes participation in Vintage Bentley rallies and many other recent events, including being a special addition to Gooding & Company's Pebble Beach Auctions, this August.

"We're delighted to present extraordinary collector examples of two renowned British marques, the 1921 Bentley Chassis 3 and McQueen's beloved 1931 Brough Superior SS80, at our Pebble Beach Auctions," said David Gooding, President and founder of Gooding & Company.

"Both the Bentley and Brough Superior represent special opportunities for collectors who value provenance, historical significance and authenticity."

The oldest surviving production Bentley in existence, Chassis 3

Also appearing in the sale is a 1931 Brough Superior SS80 motorcycle owned by the Hollywood legend Steve McQueen.

Of the hundreds of motorcycles Steve McQueen personally owned, this extraordinary pre-war SS80 was one of his personal favourites.

Meanwhile, the Bentley's estimate is available on request. And, given the sales results achieved by other classic Bentley motors the end result will likely be eye-watering.

Last year in 2010, a 1952 Bentley R-Type Coupe was sold by Gooding & Company for $105,600

Previously, a burgundy 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback was auctioned for just short of its estimate for $550,000 by RM Auctions in Monterey, in 2008.

While the R-type was the successor of Rolls-Royce's first post World War II production car, the MkVI, the provenance and historical importance of the Chassis 3 is even more impressive.

Watch this space for more news on Gooding & Co's upcoming sale. It takes place at Pebble Beach on August 21.


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