offers 0

1935 Bentley 3 ½ Drophead Coupé by James Young


  • Subject to a recent bare metal respray
  • Judiciously maintained by the engineer owner of forty years
  • Comprehensive restoration carried out by the previous keeper
  • Well-documented early history
  • Offered in superb condition both mechanically and cosmetically

The Appeal

With today’s market awash with re-bodied pre-war saloons, it's always exciting to find a pre-war Bentley sporting original open bodywork. More exciting still is when said bodywork was a one-off commission and it’s well-documented who ordered it in period. 
On those counts, this 1935 Bentley 3 ½ Drophead Coupé by James Young ticks all the right boxes. The car was originally commissioned by Royal Navy Commander FJ Colby, and this is documented in several well-respected publications. The James Young bodywork is bespoke, and tailored to the original owner’s taste and requirements. Seldom do such cars survive, making this a fascinating piece of Bentley history as well as a supremely elegant motor car.
It has been in current ownership for over four decades and is well-known to the Rolls-Royce & Bentley Owner’s Club (RREC). The vendor is a qualified engineer and has taken care of the maintenance themselves to a very high standard. Most recently, a full bare metal respray, re-chroming of the headlights, the fitment of a stainless steel exhaust and a routine oil change have ensured the Bentley is ready for its next custodian.

The History and Paperwork

  • A commission build for Commander FJ Colby R.N.
  • The car is mentioned on page 195 of Johnnie Green’s ‘Fifty Years of the Marque’ and Bentley The Silent Sports Car by Michael Ellman-Brown on page 375 where the author refers to Commander Colby as the first owner
  • In current ownership for the past forty years
  • We’re informed that it was restored by the previous owner
  • Retains its original James Young coachbuilt bodywork
  • Exempt from road tax and MOT testing
  • The owner, a qualified engineer, has carried out their own maintenance
  • The vendor states that the Bentley is stored in a heated garage
  • Used sparingly during recent years

The Condition

  • The folding soft top appears to fit beautifully when raised and stows away neatly when lowered
  • Straight and well-presented bodywork
  • Smart panel alignment/door fitment
  • Superb brightwork
  • Recently re-chromed headlamps
  • Light patina to the painted wire wheels
  • Subtle Lucas indicators are added fore and aft without modifying the bodywork
  • Handsome interior in very good condition
  • Lightly patinated brown leather seats
This Bentley presents beautifully, bearing all the signs of a well-kept pre-war motor car. Its enviable condition is a testament to its owner of forty years who has carried out the maintenance themselves. It’s stored in a heated garage and looks remarkably well-preserved throughout with few signs of wear beyond what we’d call age-commensurate patina. The older restoration has weathered the passage of time well and there appear to be no notable signs of the deterioration worthy of mention.

The Mechanics 

  • 31/2-litre straight-six
  • Four-speed manual gearbox
  • Stainless steel exhaust system recently fitted
  • Subject to a recent oil change
  • All presents impeccably under the bonnet
As this car hails from the early years of Rolls-Royce custodianship, its engine is derived from the 20/25 straight-six and yet as a Bentley, it retains that sporting edge with a higher compression ratio, a more sporting camshaft profile and crossflow cylinder head. It was fed by a pair of SU carburettors and put out around 110 bhp at 4,500 rpm.
Lift the bonnet of this example and you find a very smart compartment which also retains a commendably period-correct appearance. The vendor has recently performed and oil change and while the car has seen limited use during recent years, we’re informed that it drives very nicely indeed.

This sale is subject to the Car & Classic Terms and Conditions. By bidding and/or making an offer, you also agree to the following: 
The seller is registered as a private seller which means consumer rights stemming from EU consumer protection law do not come into effect. However, you are still covered by Car & Classic’s own Terms and Conditions.. 
We request that a non-refundable fee  be paid if you are the lucky winning bidder at auction or if your offer is accepted Please refer to our helpful FAQs and T&Cs for specific rates. 
This vehicle is “Sold As Seen”, on an “As Is Where Is’ basis and without warranty. Photos and descriptions are solely for guidance purposes and it's customary to carry out a full inspection of the vehicle prior to purchase for your own peace of mind. 
✓ VAT is included in the buyer's deposit. VAT may or may not be included in the final bid or offer price, as specified in the listing. 
We want a smooth transaction just as much as you do and as such we run all UK-registered cars and motorbikes for sale on Car & Classic through an online HPI check to verify that they show no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and have no finance owing, allowing you to bid with confidence. 
✓ We also check whether vehicles are recorded as being written off as part of an insurance total loss claim at the time an advert is placed on Car & Classic and we helpfully provide write-off category labels (Cat C/D/S/N) for your assistance. However, the presence or absence of a label does not guarantee the vehicle’s status and it is always worthwhile carrying out your own  full vehicle history check before making an offer on a vehicle. 
✓ Buyers are responsible for vehicle collection 
or delivery. Importing vehicles may result in additional customs duties and import taxes so it’s worth checking beforehand.. If requested, we may refer you to a third-party shipping company who can help. For more details and to speak to the team, email [email protected] 
I have read, understood and agree to the Car & Classic Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy
Vehicle specification
  • Year 1934
  • Make Bentley
  • Model 3 1/2 Litre
  • Colour Multicolour
  • Odometer 46,806 Miles
  • Engine size 3500
Listing Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Dyfed Powys
  • Location Wales
  • Country United Kingdom

The Gallery

The safest way to buy a classic car online

Car & Classic's secure payment system protects buyers and sellers. At the end of the auction, the winning bidder transfers payment into a third-party escrow account. Once the transfer of the vehicle is complete, both parties confirm they are happy with the sale and the money is released to the seller. More about buying with us
Safe, secure payment process

Make an offer

This seller is open to offers. Enter the amount you'd like to pay and if your offer is accepted, a member of the team will be in touch.

Under offer

This seller has accepted an offer.

Click the star to watch the listing and keep an eye on it in the favourites section of your account, or search for something similar.