H&H Classics | 12-Oct-2016 | Imperial War Museum Duxford | Venue : Duxford Cambridgeshire CB22 4QR
Category : Classic Cars
Lot No. : 118
Year : 1947
Engine Size : 4257cc
Colour : Grey
Interior : Blue
Registration No. : JYN 279
Chassis No. : B132BH
Engine No. : B66B
No longer available - Sold or withdrawn from sale


- Beautiful example restored in 2000s by Classic Restorations (Scotland) Ltd
- Elegant Park Ward coachwork finished in grey with blue leather interior
- Original owner G L Gambanis Esq. c/o Embiricos Ltd
According to its Bentley Works instruction sheet of May 30, 1947, chassis B.132.BH was originally assigned to the company's American agent, J S Inskip Inc, and the chosen specification suggests it could have been destined for the New York Motor Show of that year - a very similar example is known to have been displayed there previously. However, it seems there was a change of plan, and that name was subsequently crossed off the history card and replaced by that of G L Gambanis, c/o S G Embiricos Ltd of London. This was the UK headquarters of the Embiricos shipping line, a massive Greek family empire among whose number was the amateur racing driver Andr? Embiricos who, with Bentley's encouragement, funded the building of the Georges Paulin-styled streamlined 4.25-Litre Bentley of 1939 that's become so famous as to be universally known as the 'Embiricos Bentley'.
Gambanis, a director of S G Embiricos, evidently sought similar levels of perfection and the order for B.132.BH was revised better to suit the roads and climate of Europe than Eastern USA. The chosen coachbuilder was still Park Ward, but the revised list of special features now included: speedometer in kilometres; double filament headlamp bulbs; separate central lamp switch; a second wing-mounted wheel carrier; snow chains; locks to the bonnet and petrol filler; stainless steel stone guards; two suit cases; loose covers for the seats, doors and hood; GB plate; AA, RAC and Greek club badges; Ace wheel covers; cigar lighter. The car crossed from Dover to Boulogne on the SS Dinard on August 9, 1948 and was received by the owner 18 days later. The final invoice, including tax, was for £5,462 12s 2d.
The factory records show subsequent owners as being H Gordon Bowsher of Stockbridge, Hants (March 1957); D J Ashbourne, South Benfleet, Essex (November 1958); and M I Dorman Brailsford of Crookham, Hants (June 1966). At some stage after this 'JYN 279' seems to have found its way the USA, where it ultimately spent 20 years vegetating in a Kentucky apple orchard and it was marque specialists, The Real Car Company, who repatriated it in 1994 and from whom it was purchased by A D Popple of Glasgow. It then underwent a much-needed restoration courtesy of Classic Restorations (Scotland) Ltd of Alyth, Perthshire, before being acquired by the vendor from their stand at the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club premier event of 2009. It has subsequently been maintained for the owner by Bentley specialist Harvey Wash of Colchester.
This very desirable and eminently practical righthand drive Drophead Coupe is now beautifully presented with lustrous Grey coachwork, Black hood and contrasting Blue hide interior trim and carpets. The odometer currently registers an unwarranted 79,000 kilometers, and the only obvious departure from the car's original specification are the sympathetically styled flashing indicators. The Bentley is now offered complete with various items of correspondence, copies of the original chassis cards and factory records, Harvey Wash invoices, photos of the extensive restoration, original registration ('JYN 279') etc., and is no doubt capable of providing a lucky new keeper with many years of enjoyable, reliable motoring.
Developed from its short-lived MKV model, Bentley's MKVI was the company's first post-war offering and the first to be offered with standard factory coachwork. However, there was still the option of purchasing a chassis to be clothed by one's coachbuilder of choice, and of the 5,202 examples made between 1946 and 1952, 1,012 featured Saloon or Drophead bodies from one of a dozen or so recognised Carrozzerias; of which Park Ward was a favourite and, of course, a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce itself.