1931 Bentley 8 Litre Le Mans Style Tourer
£800,000 | Location: United Kingdom
This 8 Litre was supplied from London's famed agency of Jack Barclay Ltd. with formal Sedanca de Ville Coachwork. Given the timing of its purchase by the first recorded owner G. Henscher as mid-1932, it seems likely that perhaps the car was used by Barclay staff as a demonstrator. Michael Hay's book on the model notes that prior to acquisition by Henscher the car had already covered more than 2,400 miles and that when sold it was sold as 'second-hand' and was to receive new glass, and a full structural service of the bodywork by Freestone and Webb, prior to its delivery. The car continued to be maintained by the factory until just before the war.
Its known ownership history is relatively uncomplicated, the car being the property of Joseph Perry of Birmingham just before the war and remaining with him until 1947 when acquired by Col. Walton in 1947, at which point it is known to have spent some time in Scotland. In 1962 the car was the property of a Willy P. Dale and later traded through Dan Margulies to Barry Eastick.
YX 5109 was restored in the 1970s by Hoffman and Mountford, at which point it was rebodied in the guise of the earlier 4½ and Speed Six 'Le Mans' fabric touring bodies, a style which was famously only fitted to one 8 Litre car. James Pearce's eye for a good looking sports tourer was arguably second to none and the bodywork fitted to this car is extremely well designed, in that despite retaining its original 13 ft chassis, the length of the car is hidden in its good proportions. The entire process is understood to have taken 2 years from 1974 to 1976 and cost some £29,000 back in the days when labour was a mere £3 per hour! On its completion it was shown at the Bentley Drivers Club Dorchester House meet in 1978 and later at the Kensington Gardens meet, in the 1980s. Shortly after this the car passed into the American ownership of Bill Chadwick of Dallas, Texas and is known to have been shown at the RROC Regional Meet in Salado, Texas in 1986.
In 1988 the 8 Litre was sent to Elmdown Engineering and received a full engine rebuild with new shell bearings, a Phoenix crankshaft and rods and full flow oil filter were fitted.
Later, a Laycock heavy duty overdrive was also fitted, to enable even more effortless cruising at high speeds.
The 8 Litre was acquired by Charles H. Brown at public auction in 1995. It resided in his coachhouse in the UK until 2013 recording modest mileage in the 18 years tenure and being well maintained, including a thorough service by Elmdown. The car presents beautifully in superb cosmetic & mechanical condition.
Ready for the road, this is an undeniably handsome sports tourer and a represents a fabulous way to appreciate the 8 Litre's legendary performance. Beyond sheer long distance touring, it would of course be welcomed back in to the fold by the Bentley Driver's Club in the U.K. and Rolls-Royce Owners Club in the U.S.