Heroshot

1931 Bentley 8 Liter

Boattail Two-Seater, body by Hoffman & Burton
Gooding & Company's latest online auction averages $1.28M per car
Thursday, 28 January - Friday, 5 February 2021
$859,868
Sale Price
$549,000 - $823,000
Est. Range
Yes
Reserve
5 February 2021
Sold Date
9
Lot Number
#3-
Rebodied or re-created
Gooding & Company
Auction House
Chassis no. YR5092. Blue over blue leather. 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.

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.

by Rick Carey
19 February 2021
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
N/A
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.