Classic Car Catalogue

Bentley 1931

4 Litre tourer z kompresorem lub bez, cabriolet - ost. rok
4 Litre saloon - nowy model
8 Litre - do limuzyny dołączył kabriolet, wyprodukowano 100 szt modelu 8 Litre R6, 7983 cm³
4 ½ Litre - ost. rok. Od 1927 roku wyprodukowano 713 szt, w tym 50 w wersji Blower (od '29).

Great Britain

W maju zaprezentowano 4 Litre. W grudniu nastąpiło przejęcie firmy przez Rolls Royce, powst. Bentley Motors Ltd.
Bentley 8-Litre have 7983-cc (110 x 140 mm) six-cylinder engine, rated at 44.9 H P. A 12-ft wheelbase chassis cost £1850.
4½ - and 6½-Litre models, costing from £1050 to £1800 in chassis form, are also available. Maximum speeds at 4000 rpm in the indirect gears are 51,72 and 96 mph respectively. Maximum speed in top gear was quoted as: 'Autobahn : 122 mph (still accelerating)'.
In December the Company was taken over by Rolls-Royce and re-organized as Bentley Motors (1931) Ltd., headquartered at Derby.
Motor SportNovember 1931
Everyone interested in motoring was glad to see the official announcement that an agreement has finally been reached by which the famous firm of Bentley Motors Ltd., who recently suspended business, is to be taken over by the Napier concern. Negotiations had been in progress for a considerable time, but were concluded after Captain Wolf Barnato's recent return from America. Napiers have already had experience in the making of quality cars, while W. 0. Bentley, the designer of the Bentley, was the creator of one of the finest aero engines of its class ever built. He will be connected with the new company, as will Wolf Barnato, and the result of the amalgamation should have every chance of success. A new 3½-litre car is said to form part of the new programme, while the famous 8-litre will be continued.
Motor SportDecember 1931
Bentley Motors' Future.

LAST month. upon information received from a usually reliable source, we stated that the negotiations which had been proceeded with between D. Napier & Son, Ltd., and Bentley Motors, Ltd., had been concluded, and that the absorption of the latter concern by the former had materialised.
It has since been revealed that such is not the case. Nevertheless, it is now stated that a syndicate known as The British Central Equitable Trust has secured the Bentley assets and that they are acting on behalf of no less a firm than Rolls-Royce, Ltd.
At the time of going to press nothing more is known, but further developments will be watched with interest.

4½ Litre



WHEN Bentleys first introduced the supercharged edition of their famous 4½ litre model, a number of prospective owners of this type of car held back from purchase until they had seen how the car performed in the chief racing events of the season. In view of the reputation of the firm, and the way it has been gained, it would hardly seem likely that a model would become available to the public which would not give complete satisfaction, and now that the racing season is over, the most cautious buyer must have complete confidence in this model. The few minor troubles encountered early in the year, due to the amazing speed of which Birkin's Bentley team were capable, were soon overcome by a firm quick to apply the lessons of racing to their production cars.
The "4½'s" had a season which grew progressively more successful, until it culminated in the remarkable performance of Messrs. Hall and Benjafield in the 500 Miles Race, in which they averaged over 112 m.p.h. for the full distance, a higher speed than has ever been achieved in a long distance race on any track in the world.
From a car bred in such an atmosphere of speed one expects an abnormal performance, and one is not disappointed. The production model is a genuine hundred-mile-an-hour car, and as such it takes its place without question among the elite of the world's sporting cars. It is, however, more in the manner in which it accomplishes things, rather than in the bald figures themselves, that the true character of the car becomes apparent. It is possible to get excellent performance figures with quite a small engine, but it needs a power unit of more generous dimensions to give the refined and effortless performance which is the great characteristic of this Bentley.
It is now well known that supercharging confers many benefits apart from the actual increase in speed and power. The greatly improved distribution gives qualities of smoothness not hitherto associated with a fast car, and it is a fact that the supercharged edition is more docile at really low engine speeds than the standard 4½ litre model. On top gear the car can be driven perfectly smoothly at less than 10 m.p.h., which is truly remarkable when it is remembered that this ratio is 3.5 to 1. The supercharging has also made possible remarkable acceleration, and when a stretch of open road appears, and the gears are used as they should be, the car momentarily doffs its sheep's clothing and reveals its ancestry of well-tried racers.
The delights of a close ratio gear box can only be enjoyed to the full when the change is naturally easy, and in this respect it leaves nothing to be desired, and is a marked improvement over the older 4½ litres. Using the gears, 90 m.p.h. can be reached from a crawl in just over half a minute, while 60 and 75 m.p.h. can be comfortably attained on second and third respectively. The actual car we tested was nearly new and somewhat stiff, so it was not advisable to force the revs too high.
The maximum speed on the level was 95 m.p.h., while over 100 m.p.h. was attained under slightly more favourable conditions. When fully run in there is no doubt that 100 m.p.h would be well within its range without any assistance from the force of gravity.
The steadiness at all speeds is what one would expect from a car from this factory, while modifications to the front springs have increased the comfort at low speeds over indifferent surfaces. The steering is, for a car weighing approximately 2 tons, very light, and it is the sensitive lightness of the thoroughbred and not the lifeless lightness of the stodgy town carriage. It has just the right amount of sell-centering, and makes driving very pleasant under all conditions. The brakes, which include semi-servo shoes in the front wheels, are smooth, light to operate, and extremely powerful. They will bring the car to rest in just over 50 feet from 40 m.p.h., and their great power inspires confidence and makes high average speeds safe and comfortable.
In common with all the most successful engineering productions, the chassis is simple and free from any freakish innovations, the engine being a straightforward four-cylinder of very robust design and construction, having overhead valves operated by an overhead camshaft.
The Villiers supercharger is bolted to the front of the crankcase and is driven from the crankshaft. Oil is supplied by a separate pump to the gears of the blower, while a scavenging pump collects any surplus and returns it to the crankcase. Two Autopulse pumps supply fuel to the two S.U. carburettors from which the blower draws its mixture.
The four-seater body by Van den Plas is in keeping with the rest of the car, while detail improvements include slightly greater breadth, and improved comfort in the rear seats. Pneumatic upholstery ensures the luxury one expects in a car of this class, where every detail receives a consideration which is impossible in a low priced vehicle, however excellent the value for money offered. In spite of the very critical attitude in which one examines the qualities of a vehicle in the £1,000 category, about the most serious fault we could find was the rather small clearance between the outside brake lever and the body, a matter easily remedied at a word to the makers.
In short, the 4½ litre supercharged Bentley is a car for the connoisseur of sporting cars, and moreover, proof that this country can still make a car which can compete with confidence and success with the best the world produces.
Motor Sport, January 1931

4 Litre


Bentley 4 Litre Coupé Mulliner

8 Litre


Bentley 8 Litre

Bentley 8 Litre

Bentley 8 Litre Sunshine Touring Saloon

Bentley 8 Litre Vanden Plas tourer



Race entries:
  Race: Entered: Raced: Finished: Best results:
24.05.1931 Brooklands Junior Long Handicap         4,398 c.c. T. K Williams 3rd  
24.05.1931 Brooklands Senior Long Handicap         4,398 c.c. E. R. Hall 3rd  
France 13.06.1931 24h Le Mans 1 1 0 7 4½-Litre 4398 c.c. Anthony Bevan / Mike Couper fail.  
03.08.1931 Brooklands Junior Long Handicap         4.398 c.c. A. Bevan 1st  
03.08.1931 Brooklands Lightning Long Handicap         4,398 c.c. Sir H. R. S. Birkin 3rd  
03.10.1931 Brooklands 500 Miles   3 1/2 46 Speed Six 6597 cc Jack Dunfee / Cyril Paul 1st Class B 1st
17.10.1931 Brooklands Senior Long Handicap         4,398 c.c. (s) Sir H, Birkin 3rd  

4½-Litre (4.398 cc) (Bevan / Couper) at Le Mans.
Motor SportJune 1931

4½-Litre in B.A.R.C. Whitsun Meeting at Brooklands.
Motor SportNovember 1931

The famous Speed Six Bentley adds to its many successes by winning the 500 Miles Race at the record
speed of 118.39 m.p.h.
Rally entries:
  Race: Entered: Raced: Finished: Best results:
16-21.01.1931 Rallye Monte Carlo 1 33rd