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1931 Bentley 8-Liter Sport Saloon

  • Coachwork by Vanden Plas
  • Chassis Number: YX 5113
  • Engine Number: YX 5115
  • Registration Number: VO 6960
This Bentley 8 Litre was the penultimate 8 Litre to be sold by Bentley Motors and one of the 25 built on the 12-foot wheelbase. It is also the last survivor of three cars built with Vanden Plas 'Silent Block' Saloon coachwork. It was built for Mr. J.A. Player of the Players cigarette family and still features its original 'smoker's companion' with a cigarette lighter in the center of the windscreen. The 8 Litre has enjoyed a continuous ownership history through to the present day and is remarkably original for a Vintage-era Bentley Saloon. For 56 years, until it was sold to its current owner in 2018, the motor car remained in the fastidious hands of Mr. C. G. Greene, who was a true Bentley enthusiast.

By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2019
100 examples of the 8-Liter Bentley were produced before bankruptcy overtook the original Bentley Company. Introduced at the 1930 London Motor Show, the 8-Liter was the largest engined car made in the United Kingdom at the time. It was capable of fast speeds even when laden with stately coachwork. It combined the proven features of the 6.5-Liter model with W.O Bentley's latest engineering advances. Instead of trying to extract more power from the 6.5-liter engine, W.O. enlarged it by increasing the bore size from 100 to 110mm. With the increase in power and torque, a new gearbox was installed. It was called the 'F-Type' and it was very different from its predecessors. The chassis was entirely new, with a 'double drop' design that a reduced overall height which lowered the center of gravity. It had several tubular cross members, a hypoid-bevel rear axle, longer road springs, and Bentley & Draper shock absorbers. Two wheelbase sizes were available including 12- or 13-feet.

The 8-Liter was the fastest production Bentley until the arrival of the R-Type Continental in 1953.

This particular 8-Liter 'Silent Bloc' Saloon wears coachwork by Vanden Plas. The 7983cc single overhead cam inline six-cylinder engine is fitted with a single Smiths 50BVS carburetor and produces nearly 150 horsepower. There is the four-speed 'F' manual transmission, semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension, and four-wheel mechanical Servo Assisted drum brakes.


This vehicle was the penultimate 8-Liter that was sold by Bentley Motors. It was delivered new to J.A. Player. It was delivered in aluminum closed saloon coachwork by Vanden Plas utilizing the Weymann 'Silent Block' lightweight patent principles. Three such cars were originally built with this being the only example that remains in modern times.

The car was registered with 'VO6960' license plate. It would remain in Mr. Player's care for four years and accrue 23,667 miles. It then went to Ireland and into the care of C.W. Mason of York Street in Belfast. An additional 1,000 miles were added to the odometer. By September of 1936, the Bentley had returned to the United Kingdom. It was acquired by H. Dagnall, in Weybridge, Surrey. By November 19th of 1937, nearly 84,000 miles were on the odometer - Mr. Dagnall certainly must have appreciated the vehicle.

In October of 1955 the car was advertised in Motorsport Magazine as a 'Four-door short-wheelbase saloon, completely overhauled' by a Mr. Taeffe of Redditch, Worcs. It was purchased by Bruce Fagan for $1,000. Fagan had the car shipped to his California residence. During shipping, the car was dropped a couple of feet when being loaded off the ship, immediately necessitating repair to the right hand front wheel. It was Fagan's intention to refurbish the car, which he commenced with. After completion, the car was offered for sale and acquired by Leonard Potter. It was owned by William Ruger Junior from 1958 until 1961. In 1961, it was traded for another 8-Liter (then owned by John Ballantine of Connecticut) and agreed to donate YX5113 to the Larz Anderson Auto Museum Collection in Ballatine's name.

In September of 1962, the Museum offered the car for sale by auction. Ownership passed to G.Clayton Greene of Concord, Massachusetts where it has remained.

By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2018

2023 RM Sothebys : London

Pre-Auction Estimates :
£600,000-£750,000 
Sale Price :
USD $744,205 (£ 601,250.00)

2018 Bonhams : Quail Lodge

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $1,000,000-USD $1,600,000 
Lot was not sold

1931 Bentley 8-Liter Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Bentley 8-Liter

(Data based on Model Year 1931 sales)
1931 Bentley 8-Litre 'Silent Bloc' Saloon by Vanden Plas
Chassis#: YX5113
Sold for USD$744,205
  2023 RM Sothebys : London
1931 Bentley 8-Liter image  1931 Bentley 8-Liter image  
1931 BENTLEY EIGHT LITRE FOLDING HEAD COUPE
Chassis#: YX 5123
Sold for USD$849,548
  2023 Gooding & Company : London Auction
 
1931 Bentley 8-Litre Special
Chassis#: YF5006
Sold for USD$423,000
  2022 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island
1931 Bentley 8-Liter image  1931 Bentley 8-Liter image  
1931 BENTLEY 8 LITRE POINTED TAIL TWO SEATER
Chassis#: YR 5092
Sold for USD$859,871
  2021 Gooding & Company : European Sporting & Historic Collection
 
1931 BENTLEY 8-LITER TOURER
Chassis#: YF 5013
Sold for USD$885,000
  2020 Bonhams : Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum
1931 Bentley 8-Liter image  1931 Bentley 8-Liter image  
1931 Bentley 8-Litre Tourer
Chassis#: YR5094
Sold for USD$749,436
  2019 The Saragga Collection
 
1931 Bentley 8-Litre Sports Tourer
Chassis#: YX5116
Sold for USD$893,775
  2019 Bonhams : Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
 
1931 Bentley 8-Litre Tourer
Chassis#: YR5094
Sold for USD$885,104
  2018 Bonhams : The Monaco Sale 'Les Grandes Marques à Monaco'
 
1931 Bentley 8-Litre Sedanca de Ville
Chassis#: YM 5034
Sold for USD$1,015,063
  2017 Bonhams : The Goodwood Festival of Speed
 
1931 Bentley 8 Litre Sports Tourer
Chassis#: YX 5109
Sold for USD$646,301
  2013 Bonhams - Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
 
1931 Bentley 8-Litre Tourer
Chassis#: YR5086
Sold for USD$585,003
  2010 RM Auctions - Automobiles of London
1931 Bentley 8-Liter image  1931 Bentley 8-Liter image  
1931 Bentley 8-Litre Open Tourer
Chassis#: YR5076
Sold for USD$1,196,597
  2010 RM Auctions - Automobiles of London
1931 Bentley 8-Liter image  1931 Bentley 8-Liter image  
1931 Bentley 8 Litre Tourer
Chassis#: YR5086
Sold for USD$605,000
  2010 Gooding and Company : The Amelia Island Auction
1931 Bentley 8-Liter image  1931 Bentley 8-Liter image  
1931 Bentley 8-Litre Sedanca de Ville
Chassis#: YM 5034
Sold for USD$508,208
  2008 Bonhams - Important Collectors' Motor Cars, Pioneer and Vintage Motorcycles and Fine Automobilia
 
1931 Bentley 8-Litre Open Tourer by Harrison
Sold for USD$2,200,000
  2008 Automobiles of Amelia Island, RM Auctions
1931 Bentley 8-Liter image  1931 Bentley 8-Liter image  
1931 Bentley 8-Liter Gurney-Nutting
Chassis#: YR 5088
Sold for USD$1,485,000
  2006 RM Auctions at Amelia Island
1931 Bentley 8-Liter image  1931 Bentley 8-Liter image  
1931 Bentley 8-Litre Dual Cowl Sports Tourer
Chassis#: YX 5103
Sold for USD$255,507
  2003 Bonhams - Lord's Cricket Ground 'Summer Vintage'
 

Bentley 8-Liters That Failed To Sell At Auction

1931 Bentley 8-Liter's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1931 Bentley 8-Litre Vanden Plas-style TourerYM50452023 Bonhams : Goodwood Revival $600,000$800,000
1931 BENTLEY EIGHT LITRE SPORTS TOURERYR50952022 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach $7,000,000$9,000,000
1931 BENTLEY 4/8-LITRE TWO-SEATERVF40142021 Bonhams : Goodwood Revival : Collectors Motor Cars and Automobilia $300,000$500,000
1931 Bentley 8 Liter Silent Bloc Saloon Coachwork by Vanden PlasYX 51132018 Bonhams : Quail Lodge $1,000,000$1,600,000
1931 Bentley 8-Litre SpecialYF50062018 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island $600,000$750,000
1931 Bentley 8-Litre Tourer by SwallowYF50132016 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island$850,000$1,000,000$1,250,000
1931 Bentley 8-Litre Sports Coupe Cabriolet by BarkerYR50992014 RM Auctions at Monterey$3,325,000$3,750,000$4,750,000
1931 BENTLEY 8-LITRE SPORTSYM 50422014 The Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale $600,000$700,000
1931 Bentley 8 LitreYR50872011 Coys Auction Blenheim Palace $600,000$700,000
1931 Bentley 8 Litre Sportsmans CoupeYM 50432010 Gooding and Company Pebble Beach Auctions $700,000$900,000
1931 Bentley 8-Litre TourerYR50862008 Sports & Classics of Monterey by RM Auctions$850,000$950,000$1,200,000

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1931 Bentley 8-Liter

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