1950 Bentley B Special

Speed 8 Sports Tourer, body by Racing Green Engineering
Gooding & Company's latest online auction averages $1.28M per car
Thursday, 28 January - Friday, 5 February 2021
Sale Price
$309,000 - $411,000
Est. Range
5 February 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Facsimile restoration
Gooding & Company
Auction House
Chassis no. B125JN; B187RG. RHD. 5,675-cc Rolls-Royce B-Series OHV inline eight-cylinder engine, dry sump, four side draft SU H.6 carburetors, black painted wire wheels with two prong knock-ons, road leaf springs and friction dampers, 3-spoke string-wrapped steering wheel, engine turned dashboard, digital rally clock, large bore exhaust, single dry-plate clutch to a 4-speed gearbox, Luvax Bijur central lubrication, servo assisted hydraulic front and mechanical rear drum brakes, fold-flat windscreen with laminated safety glass, leather heated front bucket seats, large capacity fuel tank, headlamp stone guards, driving lights, running board tool box.

Evaluation: Assembled to this specification in 1950, this is a seriously impressive Speed 8 recreation based on a 1950 Bentley Mk VI chassis. It greets you with coachwork clad in a very shiny black modern two pack paint of a very high standard. The only minor distraction is the masking errors on the fender guards. The chrome work is superb but the nickel radiator surround has forgivable fine swirl lines. The Lucas headlamps are as new. The chassis, axles, suspension uprights, and dampers are all in top condition. The windscreen glass looks brand new. The Rudge Whitworth Patent wheels are near perfect. The interior materials are high quality. Understandably for such a high car, there are hand marks on the driver’s seat bolster leather from awkward entry and exit. Gorgeous engine bay. It is a re-creation, yes, but the presentation is superb.

Bottom Line: The B-Series inline eight engine is a WWII product with inlet-over-exhaust heads. Except for having eight cylinders and being built by Rolls/Bentley it’s pretty dull with even in this highly-prepared 4-carburetor setup estimated at 220hp from 5.7 liters. Still, the visage is impressive and the value when wailing over country roads is substantial. It’s a reasonable result for its history.

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.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.