Classic Cars

Bentley 8 Litre (1930-1931)

October 15, 2013

Bentley 8 LitreBentley 8 Litre was the largest British motor car at the time of its introduction. Bentley delivered only a rolling chassis. The customer could order the bodywork he or she wanted from a coachbuilder. Most of the Bentley 8 Litre cars were limousines but also sportier open-top models were produced.

Bentley 8 Litre had a ladder frame chassis. The wheelbase length was 3,659mm (144 in) or 3,963mm (156 in). The front suspension featured beam axle, half-elliptic leaf springs and friction-type dampers. At the rear car had a live (beam) axle, half-elliptic leaf springs and hydraulic lever-arm dampers. All four wheels were fitted with vacuum-servo assisted drum brakes

The car was powered by a six-cylinder in-line engine. The bore was 110mm and the stroke 140mm, giving engine capacity of 7,983 cc. The engine had a single overhead camshaft and four valves per cylinder. The iron cylinder block and cylinder head were cast in one piece. The engine produced 200-225 bhp. The power was delivered through a four-speed manual gearbox. The Bentley 8 Litre could reach 100 mph (161km/h) regardless of the coachwork.

The Bentley 8 Litre was largest chassis Bentley built and it was also the last completely new model before the company was sold to Rolls-Royce in 1931. The Bentley 8 Litre achieved fame for smoothness and comfort as both engine and gearbox were mounted on rubber to isolate the chassis and body from vibration. However, sales of the luxury cars were slow during the Great Depression. In 1930, Bentley 8 Litre chassis cost £1,850, and with typical coachwork £2,500.

100 cars of the Bentley 8 Litre model were built. W.O. Bentley himself used the second car built as his personal transport for two years from October 1930.

Bentley 8 Litre specifications


  • Six-cylinder
  • 7,983 cc
  • Bore 100mm
  • Stroke 140 mm


  • 200-225 bhp


  • Four-speed manual

Top Speed

  • Over 100 mph

Front Suspension

  • Beam axle
  • Half-elliptic leaf springs
  • Friction-type dampers

Rear Suspension

  • Live axle
  • Half-elliptic leaf springs
  • Hydraulic lever-arm dampers


  • Worm and gear


  • Mechanical
  • Drums front and rear
  • Vacuum servo


  • 5,380 lb
  • 2,440 kg

Price (1930)

  • Chassis £1,850
  • With typical coachwork £2,500