• Let Jay Jeno Tell You About This 1931 Bentley 8-Litre Mulliner Sedan

Few cars are more majestic than W.O. Bentley’s 8-Litre

The Bentley 8 Liter came to life during uncertain times. One year before its debut, the Wall Street Crash of 1929 hit and come 1930, its effects were still rippling through the world economy. That’s why Bentley assembled just 100 units of the 8 Liter in a two-year span, between 1930 and 1932.

Let Jay Jeno Tell You About This 1931 Bentley 8-Litre Mulliner Sedan
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The 8 Litre was the car W.O. Bentley was most proud of as it embodied his longstanding desire to produce a "dead silent 100 mph car" and the last car he designed for Bentley Motors.

Powered by an 8-liter (7,983 cc) monstrosity of an engine - the largest engine of any car available at the time in the United Kingdom, the 8 Litre cranked out between 200 and 230 horsepower.

Let Jay Jeno Tell You About This 1931 Bentley 8-Litre Mulliner Sedan
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Speaking of crank, the engine crankcase was fabricated out of a magnesium alloy, so it was both sturdy and light. Back then, specialist outlet The Autocar gave the 8 Litre a run for its money and as it turns out, it reached a terminal speed of 101.2 mph during a half-mile speed run.

Other than its impressive engine, the 8 Litre stood as the largest and most luxurious Bentley ever made. The first car ever produced was actually delivered to music star Jack Buchanan in October 1930 with W.O. Bentley himself snatching the second production vehicle (chassis YF 5002). Bentley wanted the car for personal use so he went to coachbuilder H.J. Mulliner and asked him to build a sedan body on the short-wheelbase chassis. Mulliner obliged.

Let Jay Jeno Tell You About This 1931 Bentley 8-Litre Mulliner Sedan
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The car was actually driven "for thousands of miles" by W.O as per Bentley’s records, in both the U.K. and Europe. He then sold the car in 1931, only for Bentley Motors to get it back in 2006 and perform a full restoration.

Now, the car showcased by Jay Leno’s Garage - a 1931 model - has had quite the drama-filled life. Allegedly, it belonged to an ambassador but ended up as a chicken coup before being brought to life. We won’t spoil the story for you, so feel free to check out the 30-minute video below.

Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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