W.O. Bentley designed this car in response to the challenge of the Phantom II Rolls-Royce, increasing his 6-1/2 Litre’s engine size to 8 litres. The car had twin S.U. carburetors, thermostatically operated radiator shutters, one-shot lubrication, hydraulic shock absorbers, and outstanding performance. When introduced at the 1930 Olympia Show, the car caused a sensation. It could crawl around town and then smoothly and quietly rise up to very high speeds for road work. The company advertised that the 8 Litre could do over 100 mph, regardless of coachwork. The car was recognized by Rolls-Royce as a profound threat; the Derby testers, who tried it out in France, thought it was a better car than the Phantom II. The size and performance of the 8 Litre is almost legendary. Certainly the 8 Litre could more than hold its own in any contest, and only the Duesenberg could touch it in performance. Owners ranged from royal dukes to film stars, with plenty of wealthy industrialists thrown in. Bodies fitted to the 8 Litre ranged from handsome to lovely, which was not hard given the two chassis lengths offered: 12’ and 13’. Coachbuilders rose to the challenge of such chassis, often with élan. Only 100 8 Litres were built before Bentley went into receivership in 1931. The Great Depression took its toll, and Woolf Barnato’s financial advisors advised him not to put any more money into Bentley Motors. At the court hearing, a surprise and winning bid for Bentley was submitted by the “British Central Equitable Trust,” a bidding name for Rolls-Royce Ltd. Rolls-Royce ceased production of all Bentley models, especially the 8 Litre. W.O. had the second 8 Litre, a handsome H. J. Mulliner Weymann saloon that was an incredible performer. He often said that it was his favorite car, but he had to turn it back in when Rolls-Royce bought his beloved company. One thinks he would be happy to know that it is the star of the current collection of distinguished Bentleys at Crewe.