- William Medcalf Vintage Bentley is celebrating being nominated for Restoration of the Year at the Octane Awards by bringing one of the most prized Bentley treasures back to its original glory
- In 2014, a 1928 Bentley 4½ Litre was discovered disassembled in a London home, where it had been resting for more than 50 years
- William Medcalf discovered the car to be one of only eight 4½ Litres created by coachbuilder Victor Broom and the only known survivor
- Piece by piece, Medcalf and the team put the 4 ½ litre Bentley – s registration UP 2100, known as ‘UP’ – back together sympathetically; and after 1,800 hours of hard graft, it was complete
- Perfectly preserved and in full working order, UP caused a big stir on its public debut at the 2017 Concours d’Elegance
West Sussex, 27 November 2017: William Medcalf Vintage Bentley is celebrating bringing one of the greatest Bentley treasures back to its original glory from the brink of extinction – the ‘House Find’ Bentley – after more than 1,800 hours of preservation work.
In 2014, William Medcalf received an almost unbelievable call about a dismantled Bentley in a house in the middle of London that had to be cleared. Even as the world’s premier vintage Bentley specialist, this was going to prove a challenging project.
Upon arrival, Medcalf discovered a scene like no other even with his decades of experience working with vintage Bentleys. A mountain of parts were haphazardly strewn throughout the house, garden and garages which would prove a logistical challenge if nothing else.
When he found the original coachwork on the roof of a local lock-up garage, things really got interesting. It turned out that the 1928 4½ Litre puzzle before Medcalf was one of only eight 4½ litre Bentleys bodies by coachbuilder Victor Broom, and the only known survivor.
The car was purchased in 1962 by a student for £350, but having found it expensive to run, he decided to lay it up and dismantle it ready for a restoration that never happened.
The disassembled 4 ½ litre Bentley that had been resting for more than 50 years in London was re-patriated to the West Sussex works of William Medcalf Vintage Bentley, where the talented team got to work on preserving the car’s originality. The engine still wears its original lead seal as fitted new in 1928, as well as its original finishes. The interior wood and gauges have all just been pain-stakingly cleaned. The car also sports some original leather features such as the sump guard and spring gators. Every nut, bolt and washer was present and correct and the whole car kept as original as possible.
Everything that was original and in full working order was left alone for future generations, with only necessary overhauls being made. The chassis, for example, was coach-painted as it would have been back in 1928, and the body was returned to Saxe blue over cream as finished in period.
The car’s first outing in 50 years was to the 2017 Concours d’Elegance, where its incredible journey from borderline extinction to pure and pristine Bentley ownership captured the hearts of thousands of guests.
Medcalf believes that the over-restoration of this car would have been sacrilege. Being one of the most original vintage Bentleys in the world, he felt it was his duty to keep all of the original finishes where possible, to lightly overhaul as required so that this car could serve as a benchmark to all future sympathetic restorations.
Concours d’Elegance organiser Jeremy Jackson-Sytner thought that UP was a testament to the skill and the ability of British craftsmen today to execute such a sympathetic and detailed preservation, the likes of which is rarely seen on a car of this era.
William Medcalf is an authority in all aspects of vintage Bentley ownership and his name is synonymous with the marque. William Medcalf started working professionally with Vintage Bentleys 22 years ago, and is situated on the road between Brooklands and Goodwood in West Sussex, England, and is the only place you need go to buy, sell, service or prepare a vintage Bentley from the iconic 1922 to 1932 era.
The state of the art workshop at the company’s headquarters is world-renowned for its rally preparation and car preservation. William Medcalf Vintage Bentley also offers the world’s best parts department for vintage Bentleys, and a full calendar of social events, races and rallying.
William’s passion for vintage Bentleys began at a young age, he first drove one at the age of just 12. Since then he has driven hundreds of thousands of miles in these cars, all over the world and is personally involved with everything related to vintage Bentleys, and is a highly regarded stalwart of the vintage Bentley community. He can often be found with his sleeves rolled up working on an engine, organising events and taking part in numerous races all year round; preserving the cars, at all hours of the day and night if needs be.