This Derby Bentley with a wonderful one-off Coupe de Ville body, is fitted with the last prewar body built by the renowned coachbuilder Hooper. The car has a unique art deco interior and was originally ordered with a white steering wheel and white shift lever.
The car was commissioned by Mrs. Duff-Asheton-Smith, then wife of Sir Michel Duff-Asheton-Smith, of one of England's wealthiest families. The car still retains the coach lamps engraved with her monogram. Because of the onset of World War II, she never took delivery. Instead, the car was delivered to the English shipping magnate, B.M. Mavroleon, on November 12, 1940.
In 1942, American diplomat A.J. Drexel-Biddle, of the Philadelphia Biddles, purchased it. Mr. Biddle served as an Army Major General in World War I and then began a diplomatic career. He was Minister to Norway, Ambassador to Poland from 1937 until the outbreak of WWII, and then Ambassador to many governments-in-exile in London during the remainder of the war. Subsequently, the car was stored at the Musee 1900 in Provence, France for over fifty years. Later, P&A Wood, restorers of Rolls-Royce and Bentleys, had completed an extensive refurbishing and servicing.
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