Let’s start today with a history lesson provided to MotorMartin by Bentley themselves. Thanks for that Chaps. And so we shall begin. As today’s news is regarding an 8 litre Bentley it seems prudent to focus on such a magnificent vehicle. According to Bentley, the 8 Litre was W.O. Bentley’s finest grand tourer and was also the last car he designed for Bentley Motors. Launched in 1930, it was the largest and most luxurious Bentley of its time. Looking at the photos throughout this article it is certainly stil believable today.
Unfortunately, the Bentley’s launch coincided with the worldwide depression caused by the Wall Street Crash, rather predictably, demand for the car slowed and the company encountered financial difficulties, leading to a change in ownership. As a result, only 100 examples of the 8 Litre were built between 1930 and 1932.
At the time of the 8 Litre’s launch, W.O. himself declared, “I have always wanted to produce a dead silent 100mph car, and now I think we have done it.” Such was the power of the car’s 7,983cc, straight-6 engine, that the company guaranteed it would be capable of at least 100mph, regardless of the chosen coachwork. Don’t forget though that these claims were made in 1930, around 86 years ago. The feeling of speed in such a long, heavy car, must have been amazing at the time and a feeling only available for such a very selective group of wealthy individuals.
The Bentley 8 Litre had the largest engine of any car available in the UK at that time. It featured a crankcase made of Elektron, a magnesium alloy and its maximum power was between 200-230bhp, a huge output for the era and not too shoddy an amount today. In December 1930, The Autocar recorded a ½ mile terminal speed of 101.12mph in a Bentley 8 Litre. To put that speed into context, only one other car recorded a higher speed between then and 1939. Incredible.
Style and performance go hand-in-hand with the latest Bentley offered for sale by William Medcalf Vintage Bentley, world-renowned authority in all things vintage Bentley. And provider of the amazing car and photos discussed below.
The 1931 8 Litre Bentley comes with a long list of racing pedigree that includes a selection of course records and class wins over an illustrious competing career. It is a perfect example of the high-end vehicles offered for sale by William Medcalf Vintage Bentley and looking longingly at the opening photograph, it would appear to be one of many such vehicle available from this amazing window to the past.
However, just in case you need it, any future owner will also get a touch of period luxury with their new car, as it also comes with a set of Louis Vuitton luggage. The two suitcases are made to fit on the rear luggage rack of this pristine and majestic car, and are in immaculate condition. Just right for popping the Champagne and picnic into for that lazy lunch amongst the rolling hills of this green and pleasant land.
As you would expect, the matching cases are held firmly in place by bespoke metal fastenings front and rear, and come with immaculate leather covered handles and metal catches and hinges. Wonderful.
William Medcalf Vintage Bentley have informed MotorMartin that they are selling the car with a large file of history, which shows it has been lovingly and well maintained throughout its lifetime. It comes with the original 8 Litre engine, which was the largest of its type made by Bentley. Only 100 of its type were made, as discussed above and it was sold with the claim that the four-seater version could be put into top gear then accelerate from 0-100mph while fully loaded with passengers and luggage. This version is being sold with a lightweight two-seater sports body and looks amazing whilst dripping with period charm.
Its racing history includes a trip to Ghent in 1969, and the car comes with a detailed account from the then owner, which describes how he took it over to a timed kilometre competition. Troubles with weather and ferry crossings meant that the car didn’t arrive in France until the day before the event was scheduled to take place. A non-stop, fast-paced trek from Le Havre meant that the car arrived at the last possible moment, late on the evening the night before the competition. This didn’t stop the car from setting a new Bentley course record, with a two-way average speed of 125mph, coming fourth overall against much new cars. The racing heritage that all Bentley’s have is evidenced in abundance with this amazing car.
When sharing with MotorMartin, William Medcalf said, “As soon as I saw this car it was clear it was a perfect example of the brand and the wide-ranging appeal that vintage Bentleys hold. The Louis Vuitton luggage helps it offer a real taste of 1930s luxury, while the undoubted performance of the 8 Litre engine means it could easily add to its already decorated racing career.”
The Louis Vuitton Bentley is offered for sale alongside several other noteworthy cars in the West Sussex showroom. These include a completely original and unrestored 4 ½ Litre drophead that was discovered in a house in Kew, South London in 2015. It has been mechanically overhauled so it is driveable, but everything else about it has not been touched, meaning it is entirely original and unchanged from when it was delivered to its first owner in 1928.
I urge all readers interested in these classics to spend some time looking at the amazing vehicles and projects on show at http://vintagebentley.com but make sure you have some time to spare. Keep it up William Medcalf Vintage Bentley, MotorMartin salutes you!
The car is available for viewing at William Medcalf Vintage Bentley’s showroom in Liss, West Sussex.
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