A 1928 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre has been unearthed from a three-storey London house following the death of its owner. The car, which features Victor Broom Drophead coachwork and is believed to be the only survivor of eight sister examples, was completely dismantled and scattered throughout the home.
“I walked into the house and sure enough on the bare entrance hall floorboards was a Bentley cylinder block,” said Bentley specialist William Medcalf. “I saw a clutch on the stairs, then the con rods – there were literally bits everywhere and throughout the three-storey house.”
The car had been bought by Stuart Wallace in 1962 for less than the cost of a new Mini, and he ran the car until its upkeep became unmanageable, at which point it was laid up. Instead of being placed in the garage, Wallace dismantled the Bentley piece by piece, storing it throughout his home. Some parts were even stored in jars of oil.
A set of headlights were found under the bed, while the dashboard and radiator were discovered in the spare room. After a through search of the interior of the property, enough components were gathered to complete a rolling chassis. The bodywork was later discovered on top of the garage, while a chest of spares – also stored outside – completed the puzzle.
“It can only be original once,” said Medcalf. “Out plan was to keep it as preserved as possible. During its reassembly, the team added several new sections of wood to ensure the car was solid, but that was the extent of the new materials – the rest is all original.”
Not a single nut or bolt has been replaced, while the original wheels still sport 87-year-old tyres, though the inner tubes are new.
The car is currently offered for sale by The Medcalf Collection