The world’s oldest Bentley was auctioned off this weekend at the 2011 Pebble Beach (California) for a whopping $962,500 (INR 43,884,860.25). 90 years after Bentley’s very first customer, Noel Van Raalte, took delivery of chassis number 3 (registered AX 3827 in the UK) for a total of £1,150 (INR 75,988.4).
“Chassis number 3 is an extraordinary, ‘matching-numbers’ car with original aluminium coachwork and brass brightwork,” Bentley said in a statement. “The marque’s signature craftsmanship and engineering capabilities, introduced by company founder W.O. Bentley, are evident even in this oldest surviving production 3 Litre.” The true test of the engineering of the 3 Litre came with wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in 1924 and 1927, the start of an epic run of five Bentley victories in eight years.
“Pebble Beach is the ideal venue to showcase Bentleys old and new,” said Chairman & Chief Executive, Wolfgang Dürheimer. “On the same day that Gooding & Co. auctioned the world’s oldest surviving production Bentley, we hosted a private preview of a brand new model. During Monterey week, the enthusiasm for the evolution of the automobile is palpable.”
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