Lot 320

Cliveden House

1931 Bentley 8-Litre Open Tourer by Tony Townshend

Offered from The Reg and Geoffrey Parker Collection

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£450,000 - £550,000 GBP 

United Kingdom | Taplow, Berkshire, United Kingdom

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Chassis No.
YR5077
To be offered on Wednesday, 12 June 2024
  • Offered from The Reg and Geoffrey Parker Collection
  • Seven owners from new and single ownership since 1967
  • Exhibited at the 1969 Bentley 50th Anniversary and photographed with W. O. Bentley
  • One of just 100 examples of the Bentley 8-Litre built from 1930 to 1932
  • Stunning Le Mans-style body built by the renowned constructor Tony Townshend in 1962
  • Accompanied by an impressive history file which includes “buff” logbook, copies of the Bentley Service Records, previous MoTs, and various invoices from 1968 to the early 2000s

Ordered new by Mr Eric Raymond Bullivant residing at Mortimer House in South Kensington in 1930, he took delivery of chassis YR5077 in April 1931, with the car being registered on 30 March wearing the number plate “GO14”. Mr Bullivant was one of Bentley’s most prestigious customers, often ordering the latest models and commissioning cars to high specifications. As noted by Dr Clare Hay in her book Bentley: The Vintage Years, chassis YR5077 was fitted with twin-Zeiss headlamps, twin-exhaust tailpipes, bonnet locks, Decarbo automatic decarboniser, as well as a steering link spring loaded by an experimental method as required by Mr W. O. Bentley. The body was constructed by the renowned H.J. Mulliner as a Panelled Weymann Four-Door Saloon.

It is thought Mr Bullivant retained this 8-Litre until August 1933, when he re-registered the car as “AGO406”. The second owner, Mr Ian Bailey kept this Bentley until 1937 when it was acquired by Mrs P. N. W. Brentnall. The year prior, an accident in February required the fitment of a new radiator and two reconditioned Zeiss headlamps. The Bentley Service Records date up to 1938, by which time the mileage was noted at 84,258 and that chassis YR5077 was no “garage queen”, being kept in regular use.

Mrs Brentnall maintained chassis YR5077 during the war years and sold the car on 12 April 1950 to Mr O. P. Raphael of London. At some point in the 1950s, the H. J. Mulliner coachwork in the Weymann style was replaced with a shooting brake body, likely built by Alpe and Saunders. As is listed in the “buff” logbook, the Bentley was next owned by J.M. Easton Turner in 1959, who sold the car to A. J. Hancock. In 1962 he commissioned Tony Townshend to restore the car and rebody it as a four-seater Le Mans-style replica.

Two years after its completion in 1963, the Bentley was acquired by the noted collector E.N. Corner in 1964; who in turn sold the car to Mr Reg A. Parker that same year. Dr Hay notes that this 8-Litre won the Spectators Award at Kensington Gardens in 1965, and was exhibited at the Dorchester Hotel dinner dance that same year. Of note is a photograph of W. O. Bentley next to chassis YR5077 in 1969 for the 50th anniversary of Bentley Motors. The vehicle is accompanied by a book celebrating the Bentley Jubilee, in which it is seen with the registration “AGO406”.

Remaining in the Parker family since 1967, this 8-Litre is accompanied by its “buff” logbook, copies of the Bentley Service Records, previous MoTs and various invoices from 1968 to the early 2000s. Upon inspection, the car was found to have the correct stamps on the front dumb iron, front crossmember, a period chassis plate, and its matching-numbers rear axle banjo. Please note that the engine crankcase has no number, and the differential nosepiece appears to be from a 6.5 Litre.

Coming from such a noted collector, with a fabulous Le Mans-type body built by Tony Townshend, chassis YR5077 is a fascinating pre-war 8-Litre Bentley, with known provenance since its completion in 1931. It is simply a must-have for the motoring enthusiast seeking a great pre-war Bentley to add to their collection.