Bentley 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.
Sir Henry ”Tim” Birkin is known as one of the Bentley Boys. He was born in 1896, in Nottingham, Great Britain to wealthy family. His parents were Sir Thomas Stanley Birkin and Hon. Margaret Diana Hopetoun Chetwynd. In childhood, Henry Birkin gained the nickname Tim, which stuck right up to Birkin’s death.
Walter Owen Bentley reckoned racing was the best way to promote the new company and the new car. However, the big and heavy Bentley 3 Litre didn’t suit well in Grand Prix racing. Instead it was perfect for endurance racing due to its strong and reliable engine. Bentley 3 Litre took its first win in the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 1924 driven by John Duff and Frank Clement, who participated as a private team driving their own car. Next year Bentley participated Le Mans with a factory team. In 1927 Bentley factory team drivers Sammy Davis and Dudley Benjafield took the second win for Bentley 3 Litre in Le Mans 24 Hour race.
In 1959 a V8 engine was introduced and fitted to the Bentley S2 models. Despite its additional two cylinders and 27.5 per cent increase in swept volume over the straight six, the new 6.23-litre was 30lb lighter thanks to its cast alloy block and cylinder heads. The oversquare – 104.1mm bore x 91.4mm stroke – engine featured a conventional five-bearing crankshaft and a gear-driven single camshaft in the centre of the vee. The overhead valves were operated by self-adjusting hydraulic tappets.