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978 CBE was supplied new by Rippon Brothers Limited, Huddersfield, finished in Dual Green with Green Hide upholstery. The Bentley comes with an excellent history that includes the original Bentley Motors (1931) Ltd delivery note to Rippon Brothers dated the 13th January 1956 and an order date of the 30th September 1954. The car is today still in original colours and retains a great deal of originality. 978 CBE records a current mileage of around 31,000 and MOT's with the car date back to 1972 with a mileage of 89317 suggesting total mileage since new to be 131,000. 33 MOT certificates are with the Bentley showing us the car has been kept on the road, proving usable and reliable. Days before arriving with us the SI was driven to us faultlessly from Lincolnshire for inspection and we can confirm the car is a strong, honest example in lovely condition throughout.
The Bentley comes with a comprehensive file of invoices dating back to the early 1970's so we know this has been a well maintained example. The history file is huge and details the story of this car for almost 50 years. We know that when the car was 20 years old in 1976 Appleyard Rippon Ltd in Leeds replaced the front wings and both sill panels, they also replaced the exhaust downtake pipes and rear silencer. In 1981 the Bentley was treated to a full re-paint and on build up new rubbers and a new windscreen were fitted. At this point the braking system was overhauled and in 1988 Rolls Royce supplied new quarter lights and many, many Appleyard Rippon invoices detail maintenance and upkeep such as kingpins, bearings and servicing. In 1991 978 CBE was treated to a suspension overhaul including rebuilding shock absorbers, in 1992 The Vintage Wireless Company overhauled the original radio. Appleyards in Leeds, by then Jaguar dealers were still supplying parts and carrying out lots of maintenance. In 1997 trimming specialists re-padded the front seats and professionally improved the original interior in order for it to be preserved and presenting very well. A woodtrim restoration Company during the same year stripped the woodwork and repaired and polished as necessary and further trim work included new carpets, new headlining and draft excluders. By 2002 more major brake work was carried out and in more recent years new correct Firestone tyres have been fitted and top end engine work carried out. Thousands of pounds have been spent and a comprehensive file showing this level of work and the fact the car has been kept so original makes this a special car.
978 CBE presents incredibly well with a lovely aged look to it. The two tone correct paintwork has a delightful patina and has a deep shine. Thebodywork is straight, the chassis solid and chrome work is of a lovely standard. Riding on correct expensive tyres it is clear this has been maintained with no expense spared. The Bentley is excellent on the road with a strong, perfectly running engine holding very good oil pressure. The car cruises comfortably, keeps up with modern traffic and keeps correct temperature. The automatic gearbox feels great with timely changes up and down the gearbox. The brakes feel very sharp, the car handles well and drives like a well maintained, correct car. 978 CBE is an incredibly usable Bentley SI and it can be driven with confidence. It has proven an ultra reliable car, its capable of long distance touring and would be fabulous on European roads. With its honest, original feel, superb classy and original colours, this is a sought after car that has so much to offer. The interior is luxerious and is high quality in every respect; woodwork is stunning, carpets and headlining are like new and of course, the original leather has been preserved and has aged superbly proving this has never been a bad car. 978 CBE is a Bentley SI that can be really used, driven regularly and is a straight, honest and genuine example with an excellent history.