1929 Bentley 6½-Liter

1929 Bentley 6½-Liter vehicle information

Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas

Chassis Num: FR2641
Engine Num: FR2644

The larger-engined Bentley was first known as the 6.5 and was first shown in 1926. It was offered with a 'Standard' chassis and a 'Speed' model. The Speed Six debuted in September 1928 and was credited with being the car that most worried its rival....[continue reading]

1929 Bentley 6½-Liter vehicle information

Sedanca Coupe
Coachwork: Motor Bodies Ltd

Chassis Num: WT2271
Engine Num: SB2762

The Bentley 6.5-liter was one of the world's finest and most respected automobile of the 1920s, which many consider to be the original sports car. It was first offered to the public in 1921, and it quickly earned the company a reputation for outstand....[continue reading]

1929 Bentley 6½-Liter vehicle information

Grafton Coupe
Coachwork: Freestone & Webb

Chassis Num: FR2630
Engine Num: FR2633

The Bentley Speed Six was confidently extolled by the factory as the 'World's Greatest Sporting Car,' which was engraved on a silver plaque affixed to the front cover of the sales brochure. The Speed Six brought W.O. Bentley his most significant vict....[continue reading]

1929 Bentley 6½-Liter vehicle information

Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas

Chassis Num: LB2342
Engine Num: LB2344

Until 1926 Bentley made 4 cylinder cars primarily as sports cars and for racing. While successful in racing, they were not powerful enough and too small for large, luxurious, closed bodies. To meet the demand for a chassis larger than his established....[continue reading]

1929 Bentley 6½-Liter vehicle information

Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas

This speed Six Bentley was originally delivered to Bertie Kensington-Moir with the standard long-distance body built by Vanden Plas. It has the spare wheel partially recessed into the tail in a similar fashion to the bobbed tail design first seen on ....[continue reading]

1929 Bentley 6½-Liter vehicle information

Sedanca deVille
Coachwork: Mulliner

This Vintage Bentley is not only original, it is also the only surviving Sedanca saloon. This long chassis 6.5 Litre Bentley is the very car that was shown at the Olympia Motor Show in 1929, and it still exhibits its original color scheme. Built by H....[continue reading]

1929 Bentley 6½-Liter vehicle information

Open Two Seater Boattail
Coachwork: Park Ward & Co.

This is one of only eleven open Bentley Speed Sixes with its original body - a Park Ward boattail speedster with pontoon fenders. Park Ward of London started by producing bodies for the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and was a major supplier to Rolls-Royce....[continue reading]

1929 Bentley 6½-Liter vehicle information

Fixed Head Coupe
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting

Developing 180 horsepower and 100 mph, the Speed 6 was a sportier version of the 6.5-liter, with an inline 6.597-liter single piece steel engine block and head. Favored by British royalty, this model was Bentley's most successful racer, winning Le Ma....[continue reading]

1929 Bentley 6½-Liter vehicle information

Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Saoutchik

Following the 1926 6.5-Liter, W.O. Bentley added a more powerful engine for his Speed Six, which became his favorite model. All Speed Sixes have a parallel-sided radiator and a green enameled badge. Most Speed Sixes were bodied by British coachbuilde....[continue reading]

1929 Bentley 6½-Liter vehicle information

Speed 6 Saloon
Coachwork: Mulliner

Chassis Num: BA2592
Engine Num: BA2594

This car was delivered new to Bentley Motors Chairman Woolf Barnato in June of 1929. This H. J. Mulliner bodied Speed Six saloon was a favorite of Barnato's and is intimately connected to the famous Blue Train story.
In March 1930, Barnato bet he ....[continue reading]

1929 Bentley 6½-Liter vehicle information

Old Number One
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting

Chassis Num: LB2332
Engine Num: LB2336

This famous Speed Six, known as 'Old Number 1,' was the second Speed Six to be completed. Built specifically as a racecar, it is a two-time Le Mans winner driven by Woolf Barnato and Tim Birkin in 1929 and by Birkin and Glen Kidston in 1930. Througho....[continue reading]

1929 Bentley 6½-Liter vehicle information

Speed 6 Open Two Seater Sports
Coachwork: Mulliner

Chassis Num: KF2387
Engine Num: KF2392

Bentley Motors chairman and 'Bentley Boy' team driver Woolf Barnato was the instigator behind the sportier 6.5 Litre Speed Six model, which was a development of the already potent Standard 6.5 Litre. The new model boasted a host of upgrades, and its ....[continue reading]

1929 Bentley 6½-Liter vehicle information

Weymann Coupe
Coachwork: Gurney Nutting

Chassis Num: FR2640
Engine Num: FR2645

A total of 182 Speed Sixes were created by W.O. Bentley, but this is one of only four Speed Six Gurney Nutting Weymann Coupes ever built. The Speed Six was introduced at the Olympia Motor Show in October 1928 as a more sporting version of the Standar....[continue reading]

Tourer by Vanden Plas
Chassis #: FR2641 
Sedanca Coupe by Motor Bodies Ltd
Chassis #: WT2271 
Grafton Coupe by Freestone & Webb
Chassis #: FR2630 
Tourer by Vanden Plas
Chassis #: LB2342 
Tourer by Vanden Plas
 
Sedanca deVille by Mulliner
 
Open Two Seater Boattail by Park Ward & Co.
 
Fixed Head Coupe by Gurney Nutting
 
Drophead Coupe by Saoutchik
 
Speed 6 Saloon by Mulliner
Chassis #: BA2592 
Old Number One by Gurney Nutting
Chassis #: LB2332 
Speed 6 Open Two Seater Sports by Mulliner
Chassis #: KF2387 
Weymann Coupe by Gurney Nutting
Chassis #: FR2640 

History

The Bentley 6.5 Litre was a continueation of the Litre series Walter Owen Bentley had created. The four-cylinder 4.5-liter unit used in the 4½ Litre was used for the 6½ Litre Bentley but the 6½ Litre Bentley had two extra cylinders. The Bentley stright-6 had a cast-iron block and head with an overhead camshaft having four-valves per cylinder. There were two spark-plugs per cylinder. The 100 mm bore and 140 mm stroke resulted in a displacement size of 6597. Horsepower was in the neightborhood of 180 - 200.

The design was based on the Bentley 3Litre but inspired by the Rolls-Royce Phantom I. There were a variety of chassis sizes available that ranged from 132 inches to 152.5 inches.

In 1928 Bentley introduced the Speed Six which would, in time, become the most successful Bentley racer. Woolf Barnato, Tim Birkin, and Glen Kidston drove the Speed Six to victories at the 1929 and 1930 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In total there were 363 examples of the Bentley 6½ L and 182 examples of the Speed Six.


By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2006
The Bentley Company was created by Walter Owen and Henry Bentley in 1919. Within a few years they had their first 24 Hours of LeMans victory. The company prospered for a number of years before going into receivership in 1931. The company had created a total of 3033 cars and had won victories at LeMans five times.

The litre series engines began in 1919 with the four-cylinder 3-litre unit. For its day, it was very technically advanced, thanks, in part, to the technical abilities of WO Bentley. The engine had dry sump lubrication and an overhead camshaft which operated four valves per cylinder. The use of aluminum pistons was also ahead of its time. In an effort to reduce gasket leaks the entire cylinder block was cast as one piece. The displacement size was increased during the early 1920s culminating to the 6-litre Bentleys. This new model, announced in 1925, had a displacement size of nearly 6.6 liters from the new six-cylinder engine. It drew inspiration from the 3-litre units that had brought many victories to the company. During 1925 and 1926 the Six-Litre Bentley's had mild success on the racing circuit as these seasons were plagued with bad luck for Bentley. In response, Bentley began work on a performance version.

The new special model was ready by 1928 and dubbed the Bentley 6 1/2 Litre Speed Model, also known as the Speed Six. The true potential of the Speed Six was experienced during the 1929 and 1930 LeMans race where the Bentley Speed Six models dominated the race. The drivers and co-drivers who piloted the machines to victory were Woolf Barnato, Tim Birkin, and Glen Kidston.

Success at LeMans was due to many factors including expericne, knowledge, and a durable 200 horsepower engine. The company looked poised to be a strong competitor at LeMans in 1931 but financial difficulties kept them from competition.

The Bentley Company was later bought by Rolls Royce and the proud and historic racing program was discarded.


By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2006

1929 Bentley Models

Concepts by Bentley



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