Lot 343

Monterey 2023

1932 Bentley 8-Litre Saloon by H.J. Mulliner


$1,200,000 - $1,500,000 USD | Not Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Body No.
Registration No.
GY 3903
US Title
  • One of the most original, correct, and highest-quality closed 8-Litres
  • Bentley’s final great Vintage model, with superbly proportioned coachwork
  • Known history since new; formerly owned by Peter Agg, Jimmy Metcalf, and Jonathan Turner
  • Featured over the years in shows and magazine articles
  • Highly attractive presentation throughout, with comprehensive historical and restoration file
  • A Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic


One of the finest surviving examples of the 8-Litre Bentley, chassis number YX5110 was built on the 156-inch-wheelbase chassis and mounted with an elegant, well-proportioned saloon body by H.J. Mulliner. As one of the final 25 cars produced, it was finished to the ultimate, most evolved specification, with a modified, stronger crankcase; a higher compression ratio; and a Mintex crankshaft damper.

The car was delivered in June 1932 by the famous Jack Barclay dealership to H.W. Reginald Room of Bromley, Kent, for whom it was registered as GY 3903. Records of service held by the Bentley Drivers Club, as well as the W.O. Bentley Memorial Foundation’s original Kingsbury service ledger, copies of both of which are in the file, indicate that the 8-Litre was well-maintained through Mr. Room’s ownership by Bentley Motors and its agents, including constant minor adjustments between 1932 and 1934, an overhaul of the engine in 1934, and replacement of the headlamps following an obviously minor incident in 1936. It was last serviced for Mr. Room on 28 July 1938, with the BDC records noting that he was “clearly a fastidious owner.”

In 1940 the car was sold by Mr. Roof to the second owner, H.W. Poultney, also of Bromley, who laid it up through the war years, after which it was used on special occasions. In 1961 he disassembled it for a planned restoration. This was not undertaken in his lifetime, and the Bentley’s components remained carefully packed away in his workshop at the time of his passing in the early 1960s. The Poultney heirs sold the 8-Litre in May 1969 to Keith Holland, and it was soon acquired in September 1970 by Peter Agg, the celebrated British businessman known as the onetime manufacturer of Lambretta scooters and Trojan and Elva automobiles, owner of the Trojan Formula One team, and as an avid collector of vintage sporting automobiles. Remarkably, a letter in the file indicates that despite the fact that the car had been disassembled by Mr. Poultney, all its parts remained intact, down to all of the original tools, save only the windshield wiper motor!

Mr. Agg commissioned his own staff at Lambretta Concessionaires to restore the Bentley. Correspondence between the Lambretta facilities and various suppliers is on file, as are comprehensive invoices for parts and services throughout the restoration, including the sourcing of correct Connolly hides and a new radiator with an interleafed core, and numerous photographs of work underway. The restored 8-Litre was the subject of a highly detailed article published in the November 1974 issue of Thoroughbred & Classic Cars magazine, seen in John Bolster’s 1974 book The Upper Crust, and shown at Bentley Drivers Club and other meetings throughout the United Kingdom. It was, notably, twice winner in its class at the annual BDC concours at Kensington Gardens.

Longtime BDC member J.D. “Jimmy” Metcalf would eventually acquire the car from Mr. Agg in 1979 and kept it for 28 years. Information and invoices in the file note that Mr. Metcalf continued to keep up the car to a fine standard, including having the engine overhauled in 1988 and the gearbox, brakes, and wheels all rebuilt in 1994. In 2004 the car was exhibited at Techno Classica Essen, at which it was presented, jewel-like, in a transparent glass box!

In 2007, Mr. Metcalf sold the Bentley to the noted British collector and vintage racer, Jonathan Turner, who in turn passed it to a prominent German enthusiast in 2010. Prior to its acquisition by the current owner, only the ninth since new, chassis number YX5110 was professionally refinished in this attractive green and black livery, while retaining the charming upholstery of its prior restoration. It retains its numbers-matching engine and gearbox per factory records, as well as the original coachwork down to the body number stamping in the floorboards and the chassis number stamping visible in the hood hinge. Further, the car is accompanied by the restored original tool kit in the boot, as well as a thoroughly impressive history file including copies of aforementioned articles and thorough invoices, its buff UK registration logbook, and a further maintenance diary kept by Mr. Metcalf.

Ideal for any number of Bentley events and vintage rallies the world over, this fine 8-Litre reminds its driver exactly why it was considered one of the finest automobiles in the world in its era. No better original closed 8-Litre can be found.