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 Bentley 3-Litre photo

1927 Bentley 3-Litre

Bentley Motors Limited was established in a garage off Baker Street, London in 1919. Their skill and engineering prowess helped them dominate at LeMans in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930, with the Herculean efforts of drivers Woolf Barnato, Jack Dunfee, Tim Birkin and Sammy Davis.

The 3-Litre Bentley was introduced on Stand 126 at the 1919 Olympia Motor Exhibition, its engine having only been fired-up for the first time just a few weeks earlier. The W.O. Bentley designed powerplant was a four-cylinder 'fixed head' engine with a single overhead camshaft, four-valves per cylinder and a bore/stroke of 80x149mm. Ignition was provided by twin ML magnetos. There was a four-speed gearbox, a pressed-steel chassis, and a wheelbase that measured 117.5-inches in 'short standard' configuration. In 1923, the 'standard long' dimensions of 130-inchs was adopted, and the shorter frame was reserved for the TT Replica and later Speed Models. Braking was by the rear wheels until 1924, when four-wheel Perrot-type brakes were introduced.

The TT Replica models, later known as the Speed Model, were in celebration of Bentley's success in the 1922 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, when they finished second, fourth, and fifth to take the Team Prize. These Speed Models, identified by the Red Label on its radiator, had twin SU 'sloper' carburetors, different camshaft, a higher compression ratio, and the close-ratio A-type gearbox. In 1927, the C-Type box became standard. The 3-Litre model produced 70 horsepower but in Speed Model guise it offered 80 horsepower. Other differences between the two included a larger 11-gallon fuel tank and Andre Hartford shock absorbers installed on the Speed Models.

During the 3-Litre model production lifespan, Bentley produced 1,613 examples with most being bodied by Vanden Plas in either saloon or open tourer coachwork. 513 of these were to Speed Model configuration.


by Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2019

Related Reading : Bentley 3 Litre History

Walter Owen Bentley, commonly known as WO, worked as an apprentice at the Great Northern Railway where he designed airplane engines. The first Bentley automobile was created in London just after the end of World War I, and given a three-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 65 horsepower. It was designed by the companys founder, Walter Owen, and benefited from his technical abilities and skill.....
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1927 Vehicle Profiles

1927 Bentley 3-Litre vehicle information

Tourer
Designer: Harrington

Chassis Num: BL 1603
Engine Num: BL 1606

The iconic 'first' Bentley was built in a workshop near Baker Street, London, in 1920 and was powered by a 65 horsepower four-cylinder 16-valve engine. The car is the first to carry Bentley's hallmark radiator casing and flying 'B' insignia. The car ....[continue reading]

1927 Bentley 3-Litre vehicle information

Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas

Chassis Num: BL1620

The 3-Litre remained in production through 1929, with a total of 1,622 examples built. The 'standard model' was built on either short or long chassis and used a blue background and came to be called 'Blue Label.' There were extra-short wheelbase size....[continue reading]

1927 Bentley 3-Litre vehicle information

Tourer
Coachwork: Vanden Plas

This 3 Litre Bentley has had several owners throughout its life, and the first was Roland Hornby, son of the inventor of Meccano and Hornby Model Trains. Prior to inheriting the family business, he used the car regularly, participating in several Hil....[continue reading]

Tourer
Chassis #: BL 1603 
Tourer by Vanden Plas
Chassis #: BL1620 
Tourer by Vanden Plas
 


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Performance and Specification Comparison

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Bentley
1932Chevrolet (313,404)Ford (210,824)Plymouth (186,106)
1931Chevrolet (619,554)Ford (615,455)Buick (138,965)
1930Ford (1,140,710)Chevrolet (640,980)Buick (181,743)
1929Ford (1,507,132)Chevrolet (1,328,605)Buick (196,104)
1928Chevrolet (1,193,212)Ford (607,592)Willys Knight (231,360)
1927Chevrolet (1,001,820)Ford (367,213)Buick (255,160)
1926Ford (1,669,847)Chevrolet (547,724)Buick (266,753)
1925Ford (1,669,847)Chevrolet (306,479)Dodge (201,000)
1924Ford (1,922,048)Chevrolet (264,868)Dodge (193,861)
1923Ford (1,831,128)Chevrolet (323,182)Buick (210,572)
1922Ford (1,147,028)Dodge (152,673)Chevrolet (138,932)

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