That barn-found NOS (new old stock) 1936 Bentley 4 1/2-Litre with original Vanden Plas Tourer coachwork — and some amazing history — sold for £454,250 ($596,670) at H&H Classics auction this week at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, England.
The high bid was more than double the car’s high pre-sale estimated value. The car had only two owners since new, the second one acquiring the car in 1952 for £260.
That second owner was former Royal Air Ford pilot Charles Blackham, who was part of a bombing raid on Hitler’s mountain-top retreat in the Bavarian Alps in April 1945. He later made emergency food drops on the German/Dutch border in support of people facing famine.
According to H&H Classics, Blackham drove the car for 36 years before his age forced him to take it off the road. He put the car into storage, where it was discovered after his death.
The car was one of 10 put together from new old stock five years after Rolls-Royce took over Bentley and was one of six equipped with 4.5-liter engines; the others had 3.5-liter powerplants.
Overall, the H&H Classics auction posted £3 million ($3.94 million) in sales with a 72 percent sell-through rate.