Bentley 3 litre 'speed model'

Bentley 3 - 4 ½ Litre | Registration: CX7658 | Engine: #XR3349 | Chassis: HP388


This Bentley 3 – 4 ½ Litre Speed Model was first registered in October 1925 to Thomas Ferguson of Knightsbridge. Originally registered with London number YM7877, chassis HP388 was first delivered with drop head coupe coachwork with dicky by Surbico.

Pre-war tenure is as follows:

Thomas Ferguson 1925 – 1927

Lady Gertrude Denman 1927 – 1930

James Ritchie 1930 – 1931

C.B. Freeland 1931 –  post-war


HP388 was later re-registered in Huddersfield as CX7658, which I conclude was done in circa 1948-49 when owned by C.H. Verninder.


In 1962 the then owner – a Kenneth Cleave, BDC member and Bentley enthusiast –upgraded CX7658 with a 4 ½ litre engine. The engine #RR3349 coming from chassis number XR3342 which was understood to have competed in the 1932 RAC rally and was later destroyed by fire, its salvageable parts then sold. Kenneth also upgraded the front and rear axles (#XR3342 #DS3553) – both from 4 ½ litres. One could assume that the current body was also fitted at this time.


In 1968 Cleave sold the car to M. R. Cannock who retained ownership until the 1990s when it was purchased by Annabel Swain, the daughter of the late John Bolster, famed British racing driver and technical editor of Autosport Magazine.

By 2015 CX7658 chassis # HP388 was offered for sale by Bentley legend Stanley Mann Racing. Upon its sale, the new custodian entrusted Stanley’s team to rebuild the engine fitting the following:


  • New semi-counterbalanced crankshaft
  • Fitting of new connecting rods, pistons, gudgeon pins and piston rings
  • New big and little end bearing shells
  • New cross shaft gears
  • New exhaust and inlet valves and valve guides
  • New wheels.


It was then used for long-distance rallies before being offered for sale by Robert Glover Ltd, where our client purchased the car in 2017. The car was again entrusted to Stanley Mann Racing for additional works, servicing the brakes and shock absorbers and re-setting the road springs etc. Along with being sensitively prepared and upgraded for long-distance touring, including the fitting of overdrive along with an alternator. Discretely positioned phone-charging points and a 12volt socket for satellite navigation make the analogue Vintage Bentley ‘digital life’ compatible!


Over the last 6 years CX7658 has proven to be trouble-free on multiple events – including French and Swiss tours organised by the vendor's friends, the Ward brothers.

The 1,200 faultless miles enjoyed in 14 days is a testament to this car being fit for purpose.


Now ready for immediate inspection at our premises in the heart of the Kingdom near Clitheroe in the Ribble Valley.

Make an Enquiry

For our full T&Cs click here

Thank you for contacting us. We will be in touch shortly.


Insurance advertisement