Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Antem
André Embiricos, France (acquired new in 1936)W.A. Wickwire (acquired from the above in March 1945)D.P. MacGuire (acquired from the above in July 1945)P.V. Hoes (acquired from the above in April 1946)Leon Mandel (acquired from the above in May 1946)Perry Seborn (acquired from the above in 1948)Lucy MacVane, Port Washington, New York (acquired from the above in 1950)John MacVane, Long Island, New York (acquired from the above)Chapin Wallour, Duxbury, Massachusetts (acquired from the above)R. Byron White, Woonsocket, Rhode Island (acquired in the early 1960s)Charles Crail, Santa Barbara, California (acquired from the above in 2002)Charles Morse, Seattle, Washington (acquired circa 2004)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
As the first new Bentley following the Rolls-Royce takeover, the 3 1/2 Litre model was available from March 1936 with a more powerful 4 1/4-litre engine. Carefully developed and fitted with some of the most elegant and sporting bodywork ever conceived, the 4 1/4 Litre accounted for nearly half of total Bentley production from 1933 to 1940, with 1,234 built. Performance was formidable, confirmed by Sir Malcolm Campbell of Blue Bird land-speed record fame, who praised the “absolute perfection” of its engine, handling, and braking.
Numbered B260GA and bodied by Carrosserie Antem of Paris, this singular Bentley 4 1/4 Litre Cabriolet is one of the finest expressions of Bentley’s popular prewar model. Commissioned by André Embiricos, a Greek shipping tycoon, noted racing driver, and Bentley aficionado, B260GA was specified for performance with a higher-ratio rear end and exhaust cutout. Exuding a decidedly modern and sporting presence, the close-coupled yet comfortable two-door/four-seat cabriolet body by Antem featured a wider firewall/cowl in concert with a long and low bonnet. An unusual low-profile folding windscreen, downswept body side trim and exceptionally clean body lines blended into a streamlined rear treatment incorporating the exhaust outlet.
According to the Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club Schoellkopf card, in April 1940 Mr. Embiricos exported B260GA to the US, retaining it until March 1945. The Bentley passed among several documented owners in the Northeast, eventually coming into the long-term ownership of Byron White of Rhode Island during the early 1960s. Mr. White had B260GA restored to a very nice standard from 1985 through 2002. Subsequent owner Charles Morse, who purchased the Bentley in 2004, chose Oregon’s Jeff McDonald to elevate it to top concours quality. McDonald has an impressive body of work including Best of Show at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® and proven expertise with prewar Rolls- Royce and Bentley motorcars. Accompanying invoices show McDonald stripped the car’s chassis and restored the body framing, performed the metalwork, prepared the body for new paint, and refurbished mechanical components as necessary. The consignor purchased the Bentley from Mr. Morse in 2014 and subsequently had the restoration completed; the paint and upholstery work was finished by Navarette Classic Design & Paint and Aquilera’s Custom Upholstery.
As offered, this one-of-one 1936 Bentley 4 1/4 Litre Cabriolet by Antem features correct period accessories including Marchal headlamps, and it comes with a wealth of documentation, such as a copy of the original build sheets, a copy of the Schoellkopf card outlining continuous ownership, invoices for restoration work by McDonald, and an original handbook. Also included: hand tools, a jack, top boot, and wheel wrenches. Documented in respected reference works and both RROC and RREC registers, B260GA is one of the finer expressions of Bentley engineering excellence and Antem’s artistry.