Vanden Plas Bentley 4 1/2 Ltr. Le Mans Sports Four Seater
In 1929, William Berkley ?Bummer? Scott, a privileged and favoured customer of Bentley Motors Ltd. ordered this Le Mans specification 4 1/2 liter Bentley.
Such cars were built exclusively for the Works Racing Team and a very short list of favoured customers.
Only eight Le Mans specification cars were built between 1927 and 1929, four for the Works Le Mans Team and four for private campaigners.
Scott took delivery of his car, a full Works Racing Shop specification model, finished in Parsons Napier Green, in May 1929 and entered 'UU 5580' for the Double Twelve Race at Brooklands on 10th/11th May, with his wife Jill as co-driver.
They were to finish 11th, having averaged 70.59 mph.
In the Six Hours Race at Brooklands on 29th June Scott finished eight at an average speed of 69.91 mph.
Although Scott was a privateer, he was allied to the Bentley Works Team when he ran his car in the Irish Grand Prix in Dublin in July.
With Bentleys taking six of the first eight places, Scott finished 7th at an average speed of 73.9 mph.
For the 1929 British Racing Drivers Club 500 miles Race at Brooklands on 12th October Scott loaned UU5580 to Tim Rose-Richards and C.W. 'Turkey' Fiennes.
They drove to creditable 5th place at an average speed of 98.8 mph.
The Scott car achieved the most creditable record, completing every race in which it was entered, being driven to and from every circuit and being used as the Scott family road car between races.
The Bentley had started and finished in every race in 1929, but it was sold the following year as Scott had taken delivery of a short chassis Le Mans specification Speed Six.
In 1951 Dick Williams, in those days the owner of the car and a keen racer used the 4.5 litre with great vigour, to the extent that he crashed it and also experienced an engine blow-up.
The replacement engine, no XF 3507, was from chassis XF 3505, also dating from 1929.
Since the 4.5 liter is part of the AutoArtCollection, the car is reunited with its original engine; everything above the replacement crankcase being original.
The block still bears the imprint of the official RAC stamping.
Image credits and article: www.autoartcollection.com