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So I know a little bit about Bentley and had some pictures I wanted to post.   Maybe we can make this a catch all thread for Classic era Bentley cars.

 

Here are some pictures I took when I was about 15 years old.  This car stuck in my mind for 40 years and I could have described it without having just found the pictures in my mom's attic yesterday.     The setting is the Breakers Mansion in Newport RI in 1980.   The meet is being put on by the RROC.     I was totally mesmerized by this Bentley and I got my dad caught on it too,  almost to the point where I convinced him we needed a Bentley.

 

I'm wondering what it is?   I'm guessing some kind of Hot Rod.    Is that an Eight Liter engine?    Anybody know anything?

AJ425.jpg

AJ434.jpg

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Looks like a Speed 6 engine....hard to tell. If it is, it would be a rocket ship. The Speed 6 is a fantastic engine...........one of the most misunderstood sleepers in the hobby. Very complicated like a 540K, but with much better power.

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I wonder if it isn't Dr Goodman's' car. (He must be long gone now.) If it is, it's an 8 Liter and began life as a big closed car. Virtually all of those have been given sporting bodies by now and most have been shortened. I remember being told the shop that shortened his car made an error and removed more chassis than he intended...he went from a long chassis to the shortest 8 liter in existence. In any case, vintage Bentley people have never adhered to the "as it came from the factory" idea. Most, if not all, embrace all sorts of modifications not the least of which is creating a 3 — 4-1/2, a 3 liter with a 4-1/2 liter engine in it. Of course, you aren't going to find either the chassis or an extra engine now but some of these conversions go back to the 30's. The 3 and the 4-1/2 were four cylinder cars while the Speed 6 and the 8 were 6 cylinder cars. There was also a "bastard" car with a push rod engine in there that was produced for a short time before the end of Bentley motors, much to WO's disgust. Even when the chassis and engine are from the same model it's common to find the engines have been swapped. I once took the oldest known 3-liter engine out of a somewhat later car.

 

Unlike most old cars there have always been Bentley enthusiasts. While they went through a period when they weren't terribly valuable (like all old cars) there were never very many of them and there were always people who wanted them. Ed's right about being complicated...overhead cam without a detachable head...taking the engine apart is a challenge you have to be up for. All that said, I've only worked on three 3's and a single 4-1/2 (it was an ex-George Waterman car) and I didn't undertake anything terribly serious. My most memorable repair was patching up the fuel system on the side of Rt. 95 in Providence in the midst of Sunday "coming back from the beach" traffic.

 

Carburetors were a problem on the early cars...they used a pair of "sloper SU's" that apparently were very difficult to tune correctly although that may be more a function of the mechanics that worked on them than the design. Most have been fitted with later SU carbs although the first 3 that I worked on had a completely new intake manifold made to take an American updraft carb (I forget which one) that was nowhere near sufficient. The car idled beautifully but it was a struggle to get it much over 50 mph. Only 1 of the cars I worked on had the original carbs on it.

 

There are good reasons why the club is called "The Bentley Drivers Club."

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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I'm all in favor of a Bentley thread, AJ, good idea.  

 

I recently bought this book, Coachwork on Derby Bentleys 1933-1940, and it's fascinating.  I've never really focused on cars that came with custom coachwork, and learning about the many kinds of Derby Bentleys is for me a new way to do that.  Really interesting world.  I have no idea what it's like to drive one of these cars, but I'm intrigued.

 

1204342827_ScreenShot2020-12-08at11_40_19PM.png.fccc36f5f45776877591c2a35fe4c454.png

 

 

 

 

Edited by 1935Packard (see edit history)
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On 12/9/2020 at 12:37 AM, 1935Packard said:

I'm all in favor of a Bentley thread, AJ, good idea.  

 

I recently bought this book, Coachwork on Derby Bentleys 1933-1940, and it's fascinating.  I've never really focused on cars that came with custom coachwork, and learning about the many kinds of Derby Bentleys is for me a new way to do that.  Really interesting world.  I have no idea what it's like to drive one of these cars, but I'm intrigued.

 

1204342827_ScreenShot2020-12-08at11_40_19PM.png.fccc36f5f45776877591c2a35fe4c454.png

 

 

 

 

This new release on Bentley might also be a good read: Bentley - Last of the Silent Sports Cars 1938-9 (hortonsbooks.co.uk)

 

Craig

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I remember 20 years ago Richie Clyne and Don Williams had a unrestored 8 Litre saloon for sale.   The engine was mammoth!   I just watched Jay Leno's video on the 8 Litre and now I want one.

 

 

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8 Litre Bentley's are fine cars. Better than 99 percent of what's out there. I prefer the Speed Six myself. The WO Bentley's are similar to Duesenbergs'.........either you get them, or you don't. It was said that the pre 1932 Bentleys were the worlds fastest trucks. I disagree calling them trucks.......but they are a handful. 

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22 hours ago, edinmass said:

8 Litre Bentley's are fine cars. Better than 99 percent of what's out there. I prefer the Speed Six myself. The WO Bentley's are similar to Duesenbergs'.........either you get them, or you don't. It was said that the pre 1932 Bentleys were the worlds fastest trucks. I disagree calling them trucks.......but they are a handful. 

 

Bentley and Duesenberg are both referred to as "hot rod trucks" by more than a few guys I know.

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I've never driven a Speed 6 but the 4-1/2 I did drive was truck-like only in that you could sense the mass of the machine...much like driving a Ghost or PI but, in the case of the Bentley, handling like a high end sports car.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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On 1/28/2021 at 9:06 AM, alsancle said:

I remember 20 years ago Richie Clyne and Don Williams had a unrestored 8 Litre saloon for sale.   The engine was mammoth!   I just watched Jay Leno's video on the 8 Litre and now I want one.

 

 

Maybe 20 years ago Dad and I looked at one and dad offered $450,000 to be told no. 

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Great video thank you for posting! Anybody else notice that he did the whole car over soup to nuts but left the outer ring on that huge steering wheel in pretty shabby original shape? I guess that's kind of a cool thing to do if you're going to drive it and actually use it.

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On 2/1/2021 at 8:40 AM, md murray said:

Great video thank you for posting! Anybody else notice that he did the whole car over soup to nuts but left the outer ring on that huge steering wheel in pretty shabby original shape? I guess that's kind of a cool thing to do if you're going to drive it and actually use it.

I'm not repainting the underside of the trunklid on my car, while everything else is getting repainted. I'm leaving it original, with its few minor scratches from maybe a box or two that was too tall, etc.

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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