Sold for $2,200,000 at 2008 RM Auctions
Sold for $1,196,597 (£756,000) at 2010 RM Auctions
.There were only 100 examples of the 8-Liter Bentley's constructed. A mere seventy-eight have survived the challenges of time and are still in existence. 16 are open bodywork, six are drophead coupes and ten are open tourers. There are only twelve open cars that have survived with their original coachwork and this example, with chassis number YR5076, is one of those rare cars.
Walter Owen Bentley, more commonly known as W.O. Bentley, was educated at Clifton College in Bristol and worked several jobs before building his first motorized transport - a Quadrant motorcycle. As time progressed so did his motorbikes. As they got better, he entered them in touring events and races; during one such campaign, he was awarded a gold medal for completing the London to Edinburgh trial. In 1909 he competed in the Tourist Trophy but crashed on the first lap.
In 1910 he purchased a Riley 9hp car and in 1911 purchased a French Sizaire-naudin. Not satisfied with these vehicles and feeling he could create a better car; he formed a partnership with his bother, Horace Milner Bentley, in March of 1912. He focused heavily on racing in the years to come, competing in hill climbs, endurance races, time trials, and many other events.
During the First World War, W.O. Bentley used his skill in modifying aero engines used by the Royal Naval Air Service. Later, he built aero engines of his own design.
After the war he began work on a new engine which was completed by September of 1919. The four-cylinder unit had a displacement size of 2996cc and developed maximum power at just 3500 rpm. After sufficient testing was performed, a mock-up chassis was created for the Olympia Motor Show in London. It was an impressive machine that received much attention and praise.
The 3.0-liter Bentley was later succeeded by 4.5- and 6.5-liter versions. And finally, between 1930 and 1931, the 8-liter was produced.
The 8-Liter Bentley's were very impressive machines that were, in respects, an enlarged version of the successful Speed Six models. They had a lowered chassis frame and an 'F' series gearbox. Larger bearings were used to increase strength and reduce engine noise. The top-gear speed range was 3.5:1 and the six-cylinder engine had a bore of 110 mm and a stroke of 140mm.
The first 8-Liter Bentley was shown at the Olympia Motor Show in October of 1930. Their appearance and stature was awe-inspiring - but equally as impressive was the vehicles performance. When fitted with a limousine body and carrying eight people, the 8-Liter Bentley's could still race to 100 mph. This was during an era when the 100 mph was nearly untouchable for road-going vehicles.
Bentley had a car that could outpace the competition and could rival the most exotic and luxurious car on the market. However, what they were unable to do was avoid the poor economic conditions of the time, nor their poor financial position. By 1931, the Bentley automaker notified London Life they were unable to make their mortgage payment - in other words, they company was broke. The company's assets were purchased by Rolls-Royce which provided sufficient funding for the Bentley marque to continue.
The first Rolls-Royce built Bentley was the 3.5-liter which would later become known as the 'The Silent Sports Car.'
Chassis number YR5076 was sent to W.B. Henderson of Somerset, England on January 3rd of 1931. Its first owner was G.R. Wilson and Lt. Col. A.J.A. Beck. In 1953 it was sent to the United States to Leo Pavelle from New York. Ownership later passed to Bill Klein. It passed through several other US owners, and even made an appearance at the 1989 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. In 1995 it returned back to the United Kingdom when it was sold to Richard Procter. By this point in history, it had been driven 43,000 miles since new. While in Mr. Procter's care, the car was treated to a restoration. After completion, ownership passed to Mr. William Connor II in Hong Kong.
In 2008 the car was brought to the Automobiles of Amelia presented by RM Auctions where it was certainly one of the highlights of the event. Its $2.2 million selling price, including buyer's premium, was the second highest of the auction. It is a very rare car and one of the greatest examples of the Bentley pre-Rolls-Royce acquisition.By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
|BENTLEY AT THE PALACE OF HOLYROODHOUSE CONCOURS OF ELEGANCE|
|◾Historical Bentleys star at prestigious Edinburgh event
◾1952 R-Type Continental, 'Blue Train' and 8 Litre among line up
◾'Bentley Sunday' highlights best of British brand's historic range
(Crewe, 31 August) Scotland's historical seat of power, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, is playing host to the 2015 Concours of Elegance from 4 to 6 September, with an impressive array of Bentley models taking centre stage.
The prestigious, invitation-only event – which showcases 60 of the world's...[Read more...]|
|CONCOURS OF ELEGANCE CONFIRMS WORLD-BEATING CAR LINE-UP FOR 2015 EVENT|
| ||◾Concours of Elegance has confirmed the full incredible line-up of cars at its 2015 event, held at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh
◾Gorgeous 1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost London to Edinburgh car set to be one of the stars of the Concours
◾Visitors can see models ranging from 1902 up to the modern day, with the UK debut of the Touring Superleggera Berlinetta Lusso
◾Additional special features such as a collection of eight Ecurie Ecosse models, including the Le Mans-winning D-type and ...[Read more...]|
|BENTLEY BLUE TRAIN DOMINATES SCHLOSS BENSBERG CLASSICS|
|•Famous heritage model wins four prizes at prestigious concours event
•2015 marks 85th anniversary of Cannes to London 'Blue Train' race
•Mulsanne Speed 'Blue Train' Limited Edition by Mulliner available
(Crewe, 21 July 2015) Some 85 years after the famous victory that made its name, the Bentley 'Blue Train' is still enjoying winning ways, picking up four prestigious awards at the Schloss Bensberg Classics event in Germany.
The Speed Six 'Blue Train' coupe, owned by Mr Bruce McCaw...[Read more...]|
|CLASSIC BENTLEYS READY FOR ACTION-PACKED SUMMER SEASON|
|•Famous heritage models hit international classic show circuit
•95 years of history to tour from Goodwood to Pebble Beach
•85th anniversary of 'Blue Train' race and 1930 Le Mans win
(Crewe, 21 May 2015) Legendary cars from Bentley's past are embarking on a tour of the world's premier heritage and historical automotive events this summer.
The 'Blue Train' car that famously raced the Calais-Mediterranée Express and the Team Blower that entered Le Mans in 1930 – the race ultimately w...[Read more...]|
|Famous Bentley 4¼-Litre 'Embiricos' Special Makes Star Appearance At Crewe Factory|
|One of the rarest and most valuable Bentleys in the world, the 4¼-Litre 'Embiricos' special, is making an historic appearance at the marque's home in Crewe. Fresh from taking part in the Louis Vuitton 'Serenissima Run' in Venice and featuring at the Le Mans Classic as part of the Bentley lineup, this magnificent car takes pride of place in the Lineage Showroom at the firm's Pyms Lane factory until September.
Throughout the 1930s Bentley Motors, then owned by Rolls-Royce, was producing fast,...[Read more...]|