The 8 Litre Bentley was the largest and most luxurious Bentley made. It was conceived as somewhat similar to the Bugatti Royale and was to catapult Bentley into a position of a supreme manufacturer of luxury automobiles.
This is the only 8-Litre Bentley to be clothed with an American-made body. It was a special order for a gentlemen from Santa Barbara, California. When made, it was also the only Bentley to have all-metal bodywork. In 1931 the chassis was shipped by W.O. Bentley's company to another Walter - the W.M. Murphy Company of Pasadena, where this Franklin Hershey-designed Victoria convertible body was fitted. Victoria convertibles are basically two door, two window, roadsters seating at least four people. Only one hundred 8-Litre Bentleys were built, and they were amongst the most powerful cars of their day.
Of the 100 8-Liter Bentleys built, 35 were on a 145-inch wheelbase and 65 were on a 153-inch wheelbase. Very few of the original 8 Liters were open cars; fewer still were two-door open Victorias. One of the short wheelbase chassis was ordered by C.H. Mattheson of Santa Barbara, CA, for delivery to the Walter P. Murphy Coachworks. The body was designed by the famous Franklin Q. Hershey, and the coachwork was crafted out of alloy without using a wood substructure as was the practice of contemporary English coachbuilders.
Only 100 8 Litres were built - 65 long wheelbase and 35 short wheelbase. This car is a one-off all-alloy short wheelbase. It is one of only six open two-door 8 Litres.Also photographed at :