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Bentley History

1931 Bentley 8-Liter

Chassis number : YR5095

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This 8 Litre Bentley was commissioned by Woolf Barnato, the chairman of Bentley Motors and triple Le Mans-winning 'Bentley Boy.' The 2-door Sports Tourer body was built on the shorter 12-foot chassis and all plated items were made of copper at the special request of Barnato. The car boasts a pair of French pillar-swivel spotlights, and inside it retains its original fitted luggage. The car quickly became one of Barnato's favorite Bentleys and, in 1933, he shipped it to California to drive on his honeymoon after marrying Jacqueline Claridge Quealy in San Francisco. IN 1936, the Bentley was invited by Autocar magazine to the Festival of Speed at Brooklands and was filmed going over 100 miles per hour around the famous banking that Barnato knew so well from his many races. After being restored in 2004, the car was last seen at Pebble Beach in 2009, when it appeared on the Concours poster. It returned in 2019 with new owners, who bought the car in 2016.
This Sports Tourer is one of 35 Eight Litres that was built atop the shorter 12-foot chassis. Bentley built 100 8 Litre models equipped with the 7,982cc SOHC inline six-cylinder engine breathing through twin SU HO8 carburetors and delivering 220 horsepower at 3,500 RPM. This example has 5.5:1 pistons, an experimental Mintex crankshaft damper, friction and hydraulic shock absorbers, a 20-inch diameter steering wheel, and an exhaust cut-out. Its coachwork was courtesy of Vanden Plas with two-doors and seating for four. Two other Eight Litre chassis received similar coachwork - chassis YF5023 and YX5122. A 4 1/2 Litre 'Blower' and 4 Litre also wore similar designs.

Unique features bestowed upon this Sports Tourer were a fold-flat Auster windscreen, special chrome-plated copper moldings, Paxon Air Spring seats, large-diameter AT instruments, a French-made Grebel pillar-swivel spotlight, and a rear truck with road tools and fitted luggage. The exterior was finished in Battleship Grey and Birch, while the interior was trimmed in grey Connolly hides with hood, tonneau, and side curtains in grey mohair. Each of the doors received the Barnato family coat of arms.

This Bentley 8-Litre Sports Tourer was delivered to Woolf Barnato in June of 1931 and subsequently registered as 'GP401.' After his marriage to American Jacqueline Quealy in March of 1932 and in preparation for a honeymoon tour of the U.S., the Eight Litre received a second rear spare and indicator lights in preparation for shipment to California.

The car's second owner was Flight Lieutenant Reginald Clarence Presland who purchased it in May of 1933. In 1936, he entered the Bentley in the RAC's 1000 Miles Rally, and later he drove it over 100 mph at the Festival of Speed at Brooklands.

The Bentley's final Service Record was in May of 1939, and its only update during its first decade of use was the addition of three SU petrol pumps fitted in 1934 and a new front axle bed in 1937.

The Bentley was placed into storage during World War II, and when it emerged many years later, it was given an engine overhaul by Bentley specialist MacKenzie Guppy. Mr. Presland joined the Bentley Drivers Club (BDC) in 1946 and participated in various rallies and shows. In 1947, it was shown at the BDC Concours at Kensington Gardens, where it was awarded Second Overall. The following year, it won First in Class honors.

The car remained in Mr. Presland's family until 2004, when it was sold to Peter Hageman of Kirkland, Washington. Shortly after the acquisition, he drove it in the annual Pebble Beach Motoring Classic before showing it in the Concours d'Elegance's Prewar Preservation Class.

Peter Livanos acquired the Eight Litre in 2005 and commissioned a complete, no-expense-spared restoration performed by R.C. Moss. Upon completion, the car was shown in August 2009 at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it was selected as First in Class.


By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2022

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Provenance *
* Please note, dates are approximate

2022 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $7,000,000-USD $9,000,000 
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 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 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

Vehicles With Comparable Market Values

Similar sales to the $879,524 range.
1930 Cadillac V-16 Sport Phaeton by Fleetwood
Sold for $880,000
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1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle thumbnail image  1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle thumbnail image  
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1934 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM II CONTINENTAL STREAMLINED SALOON
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1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle thumbnail image  1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle thumbnail image  
1942 Packard Custom Super Eight One-Eighty Special Darrin Victoria Convertible
Chassis#:1529-2009
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Chassis#:DB5/2269/L
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1968 LAMBORGHINI MIURA P400 S
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1931 Bentley 8-Liter Profiles

1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle information
Sportsman Coupe
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting
Chassis #: YR 5088
Engine #: YR 5088
1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle information
Sportsman Coupe
Coachwork: Lancefield
1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle information
Convertible Victoria
Coachwork: Murphy
Chassis #: YR5085
Engine #: YR5085
1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle information
Touring Car
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: YX5119
Engine #: YX5119
1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle information
Open Tourer by Harrison
Coachwork: Harrison
Chassis #: YR5076
1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle information
Corsica Tourer
Coachwork: Corsica
Chassis #: YX5115
Engine #: YX5117
1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle information
Weymann Paneled Saloon
Coachwork: Mulliner
1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Wallis
Chassis #: YR5086
1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle information
Sports Coupe Cabriolet
Coachwork: Barker
Chassis #: YR5099
Engine #: YR5099
1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Swallow Sidecar and Coachbuilders
Chassis #: YF5013
Engine #: YF5013
1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle information
Sport Saloon
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: YX 5113
Engine #: YX 5115
1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle information
Roadster Special
Coachwork: Sutherland
Chassis #: YF5006
Engine #: YF5006
1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle information
Sports Tourer
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting
Chassis #: YF5011
Engine #: YF5011
1931 Bentley 8-Liter vehicle information
Sports Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas
Chassis #: YR5095
Engine #: YR5095