Bentley 3-litre

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

Current page

181

Current page

182

Current page

183

Current page

184

Current page

185

Current page

186

Current page

187

Current page

188

Current page

189

Current page

190

Current page

191

Current page

192

Current page

193

Current page

194

Current page

195

Current page

196

Current page

197

Current page

198

Current page

199

Current page

200

Current page

201

Current page

202

Current page

203

Current page

204

Current page

205

Current page

206

Current page

207

Current page

208

Current page

209

Current page

210

Current page

211

Current page

212

Current page

213

Current page

214

Current page

215

Current page

216

Current page

217

Current page

218

Current page

219

Current page

220

Current page

221

Current page

222

Current page

223

Current page

224

Current page

225

Current page

226

Current page

227

Current page

228

Current page

229

Current page

230

Current page

231

Current page

232

Current page

233

Current page

234

Current page

235

Current page

236

Current page

237

Current page

238

Current page

239

Current page

240

Current page

241

Current page

242

Current page

243

Current page

244

Current page

245

Current page

246

Current page

247

Current page

248

Current page

249

Current page

250

Current page

251

Current page

252

Current page

253

Current page

254

Current page

255

Current page

256

Current page

257

Current page

258

Current page

259

Current page

260

Classic cars
Our very first road test, taken from Motor Sport, July 1924 | by ‘FULL THROTTLE’*

The sporting car, as a class, has characteristically more distinction than that possessed by touring types. Being out of the ordinary, and intended to emphasise particular motoring qualities, the sporting car usually has quite an individuality. Some sporting cars, of course, seem to stand quite apart from orthodox standards.

In the latter category one may place the 3-litre Speed Model Bentley. This car embodies all the qualities one has come to consider essential in a sporting car.

A brief review of the chassis reveals at once how interesting a proposition the Speed Model Bentley is, and this opinion is vastly enhanced when one takes the car for a trial. The engine is a four-cylinder monobloc of 2996cc capacity. Its design has much originality: there are two inlet and two exhaust valves in each cylinder, operated by a totally enclosed overhead camshaft and rockers, running in oil. The pistons are of aluminium, designed for high compression. Cooling is by pump circulation controlled by an automatic thermostat. On a sporting car one usually has to “drive on the spark” more than is requisite on a touring car, and to obtain really the best running from the Speed Model Bentley one makes no exception.

The system of dual-controlled magnetos enables one to obtain particularly effective ignition. A notable point is that a petrol consumption of 25mpg at 30mph is guaranteed, which, considering its wide capabilities, is not excessive. The clutch is of the inverted cone type, lined with Ferodo. The four-speed gearbox is operated by a simple right-hand gate change carried on an extension of the box.

In a car of such advanced design, one naturally expects to find front-wheel brakes, and the system of fully compensated internal expanding brakes operating on all four wheels and controlled by pedal is very effective. The handbrake operates on the rear wheels. The tank holds 11 gallons of petrol, and a two-way tap near the filling cap gives access to a reserve supply of two gallons.

Chassis lubrication is by oil, supplied from an oil-gun through screwed oil plugs. The only grease cup on the chassis is situated on the water pump. After the chassis has been lubricated it can be run for three months of normal mileage without further lubrication, apart, of course, from the engine’s requirements.

From the foregoing it will be appreciated that the Speed Model Bentley is a particularly interesting car. Our road experiences with this model, although not at the moment as extensive as we should like, have convinced us that it must possess a fascination for every sporting motorist. It is naturally fast, but that is by no means the sum total of its outstanding attraction. Very few sporting cars are really docile in control, many are not at all comfortable. The Speed Model Bentley is a happy exception.

Owing to its high gear range one must, of course, remember that the four speeds are there to be used. Gearchanging is so easy a matter, however, that one finds not the smallest objection to always starting on first and to a fairly frequent use of the lower ratios in traffic. On each gear the car is instantly responsive.

There is one feature of the Bentley that may be described as unique, and to this we would give due prominence: how many sporting cars, or cars of any sort, will do 70 miles an hour on second gear? The Bentley makes light of this.

The acceleration is quite remarkable. The Bentley will hang on to about the 70 mark on second gear indefinitely, and the change down at speed with a quick double-clutch is not unduly difficult.

One can change into top at practically any speed, slow as well as fast, and the Bentley will attain the neighbourhood of the 80 mark without much forcing.

Steering on the Bentley is delightfully easy, comparable in its comfort to that experienced on a high-quality light car. The four-wheel brakes, operated by pedal, are remarkably powerful, and very easy and smooth in operation. Although there is not an overabundance of seating room, the Speed Model Bentley is quite comfortable to ride in.

The electrical and other equipment is very complete, and the general layout of the car very pleasing to those who desire a high-quality sporting vehicle that is quite practicable for ordinary touring and exceptionally attractive among sporting designs for town and general use.

The price of the Speed Model Bentley with four-seater body is £1125 and with two-seater body £1100, purchasers being afforded the option of choosing the colour of body and upholstery. The manufacturers are Messrs Bentley Motors Ltd of Hanover Street, London, W1. The extensive Bentley factories are at Cricklewood, London.

Interest in the Bentley is naturally enhanced by this car’s splendid victory in the French Grand Prix d’Endurance last month. The Bentley [left] was the only British car among 40 competitors, and its outstanding performance throughout the race provides a notable tribute to British engineering in general, and to Bentley design and workmanship in particular.

Magnificently driven by Duff and Clement, the Bentley maintained a thrilling struggle with some of the best representatives of French automobile science throughout the 24 hours that the race occupied. This event is indeed appropriately named, a trial of endurance, for it is difficult to imagine a more exacting test under road conditions than this gruelling struggle of speed throughout a day and a night.

The Bentley had no mechanical trouble, and at the end of the race was in good condition and still lapping consistently. The distance covered by the Bentley in 24 hours, with Duff and Clement alternately at the wheel, was exactly 2188km, or 128 laps of the course. Second place was taken by the Lorraine-Dietrich, driven alternately by Stoffel and Brisson, with 2061km to its credit.

*We don’t know who he was!

Bentley 3-litre factfile

Production: 1921-29
Power: 80bhp
Max speed: 90mph
Start of a legend. Finest sporting car of its era, say many (though not 30/98 owners). Le Mans success heaped glory on the badge and dedicated enthusiasts have made this and its 4½ and six-cylinder successors into a symbol of Britishness. Few remain in original form, saloons especially rare; many 3-litres now have bigger engines. Perfect spec: for investment, a genuine blown
4½; for rarity, a 3-litre saloon

Bentley specialists

Taylors: www.taylorsuk.com
Graeme Hunt: www.graemehunt.com
Milford Vintage: www.vintage-engineering.co.uk

Related articles

Related products