Evaluation: In 2005 this Speed 8 received an updated dash and instruments, new blue upholstery, lightweight 19″ alloy-rim wheels, two new electric cooling fans and hydraulic power steering. Originally a close-coupled saloon by H.J. Mulliner. Rescued from a field in 1958 and rebodied with this body in 1960-61 on a shortened chassis and fitted with a replacement crankcase.
The pointed tail bodywork with cutaway suicide doors gives a purposeful sporting stance. Poor paint and panel work disappoints in this harsh indoor lighting, though. The wings are particularly uneven. The radiator chrome is very good. The front chassis legs have been gloss painted in body colour. The Marchal headlights are impressive. The chassis looks straight and well protected with paint over paint. The seat leather is superb with minimal creases from use, but the clocks have reprinted facias and look wrong. Nylon carpets detract, also. Chrome is flaking off the corners of the wheel knock-ons, but the wheels themselves are well-painted. A great car with an average presentation that can be put right without too much effort and expense.
Bottom Line: This does seem to be a generous price for a rebodied, shortened, aged Bentley with a replacement aluminum crankcase, but it is an 8 Liter with a traceable history and that counts for a lot. It has passed through the hands of a number of informed collectors and been commented upon favorably by many experts. How much one balances the other is a subject best left to the bidders here, who paid generously for it.