In 1931 Rolls-Royce purchased Bentley Motors and moved the Bentley factory from Cricklewood to Derby. The Bentley produced there are commonly referred to as 'Derby-Bentleys.' Introduced in 1933 the first of these 'Derby-Bentleys' was simply referred to as the 3 1/2 Litre and was very similar in design to the Rolls Royce 20/25 launched in the same year. Bentley became the more powerful and sportier variant of Rolls Royce, however, compared to the previous Bentley models from Cricklewood, the 3 1/2 Litre engine was quite a step backwards technically.
In 1936 Rolls Royce launched the 25/30 model and the Derby Bentleys were also fitted with the 4.257 Litre engine, attached to a four-speed gearbox. The extra 588 cubic centimeters gave this model the same acceleration potential in fourth gear as the previous car offered in third gear. This resulted in a very lively and sporty new model.
Production lasted until the outbreak of World War II, with over 1200 examples produced with coachworks by a.o. H.J. Mulliner, Park Ward, James Young, Vanden Plas, Van Vooren, Vesters & Neirinck and more. The similarity in design between the Rolls Royce and Bentley did make things a lot easier for the many coachbuilders responsible for the custom coachwork fitted on both marque's chassis. For the bodies fitted on the Bentley chassis, the coachbuilders usually designed a slightly more aerodynamic and sportier body.
This Derby Bentley 4 1/4 Litre Sedanca Coupe features the very rare James Young patented parallel sliding doors. Only a handful of the 4 1/2 Litres were fitted with this type of bodywork.
I am not a natural flatterer, I like to think that I "tell it like it is", politely I hope. So when I tell you that I am very impressed by the contents of your website, it is just not English politeness. I of course love the subject matter but you deal with it in an energetic and respectful manner. I am overwhelmed by the research that has gone into compiling the list of coachbuilders/bodybuilders for Europe and North America. I have never heard of the vast majority of them.
Congratulations on an excellent website.
- N. Maltby of Car Scene International
We use Coachbuild.com almost daily as our main reference source!
- Schloss Dyck Classic Days
We use Coachbuild.com all the time for references!
- Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
We are very impressed by your website!
- Bicester Heritage UK
We have 7880 visitors online