Bentley 8 Liter was the best Gran Turismo class car created by U.O. Bentleys It also became the last car developed by U.O. Bentleys for Bentley Motors. It happened in 1930.
The 8 Liter was the largest and most luxurious Bentley of its ti me.
In 1952, cars that could reach 185 km/h were rare. And until the R Type Continental was born, no one could have thought that a car that can accommodate four people in the cabin and their luggage in the trunk is capable of traveling at a cruising speed of 160 km / h. Although only 208 were built, the R Type Continental became Bentley’s benchmark Gran Turismo for many decades. Half a century later, he also served as a source of inspiration for the design team of the first Continental GT.
Two custom-built pre-war models showed what the Bentley of the future could be like. Both the Bentley Embiricos and the Bentley Corniche were streamlined and could travel long distances on the mainland’s highways at high top speeds. One of those who oversaw the creation of these unique pieces was the company’s chief project engineer, Ivan Evernden. Although he worked at Rolls-Royce all his life, he was inspired by the idea to rethink Bentley
for the post-war period and distinguish it from the background of more conservative relatives
He was assisted by John Blatchley, head of the revitalized design department at Crewe, who sketched an elongated, sleek body with a rear-facing radiator, sloping windshield, closed rear arches and a gently sloping roofline. For stability at high speeds, “fins” were added to the rear fenders. Then the experts made a model to scale
1:4 and tested it in the company’s wind tunnel located in Hucknall (Nottinghamshire). Evernden calculated that air speeds of up to 193 km/h could be achieved. “It could be
and more,” he wrote in July 1962, “but the purpose of our test was to reduce the drag coefficient of a standard car, and not to manufacture a spacecraft capsule.”
Creation of the R Type Continental
Based on the chassis of the R Type car, Evernden and Blatchley developed the Gran Turismo in the Bentley tradition, using a streamlined and lightweight design to enable the car to cover long distances at high speed in continental Europe. This masterfully executed, fast and exclusive car became a cult model of its time.
The mechanics slightly retuned the stock 4566 cc inline six-cylinder engine. cm to increase its power from 140 to 153 hp. with., and also increased the final drive ratio to get the most out of a lighter and more streamlined body.
Bodybuilders H.J. Mulliner received an order to create a new streamlined Bentley coupe. To reduce the weight of the vehicle, the body as well as the frames of the windows, windshield and rear glazing were made of aluminum. Even the seat frames and bumpers were aluminum. To keep the weight to a minimum, the radio had to be abandoned.
Weight was a critical factor, because tires that could support a two-ton car at speeds of more than 185 km / h did not yet exist in 1950. Evernden calculated that if the new Gran Turismo were regularly driven at 160 km/h or more, it should weigh no more than 1,750 kg. But even this combination of weight and speed was already at the limit of Dunlop’s dedicated medium-distance racing tires.
However, all the work was not in vain. In September 1951, on the circuit Montlhéry nearby
from Paris, the new streamlined Bentley completed five laps at an average speed of 190 km/h, and on the best lap it showed a result of almost 193 km/H.
Up to this point, the OLG 490 prototype, nicknamed Olga, was a semi-official project. Some on the board thought he was “too sporty” for a company that makes Rolls-Royce limousines. But with the help of his associates at the company, as well as thanks to the support of foreign offices, Evernden convinced the board that the new production Gran Turismo-class Bentley would be in demand in the market. As he had hoped, orders soon began to pour in from all over the world, despite
at a hefty price of £6,928, including indirect tax on purchases in the UK.
By comparison, in 1952 the UK had an average annual income of £468 and an average house cost £1,891.
Many owners ordered additional accessories that affected the weight of some R Type Continental models that were produced for three years. Engine with increased to 4887 cc. cm displacement maintained high torque, developing a maximum speed of about 185 km / h and easily moving for a long time at a speed of 160 km / h. Later production cars differed from the Olga version by a lower roofline, single-section windshield
and modified wing line.
By the time production ended in 1955, 208 R Type Continentals had been built. The entire series, with the exception of 15 cars, received bodies from H.J. Mulliner.
Modern flying carpet
The release of the R Type Continental was accompanied by accolades. The Autocar magazine described it as follows: “Even for the most sophisticated car enthusiasts, this was something new … This Bentley is a modern flying carpet that destroys long distances and does not cause fatigue during the trip.”
R Type Continental facts and figures
• Sources of inspiration for the designers served as a streamlined pre-war model Bentley Embiricos and Bentley Corniche, created in a single copy.
• An informal project by engineer Ivan Evernden restored Bentley’s reputation as a manufacturer of powerful cars.
• The body was designed by Chief Designer John Blatchley and tested in a wind tunnel.
• Aluminum was used in the construction to keep the car’s weight down to 1,750 kg, because in 1950 there were no tires that could support a heavier car traveling at 185 km/h or more.
• The prototype OLG 490 was created by H.J. Mulliner and named Olga.
• In September 1951, at the Montlhéry circuit, the Olga prototype drove five laps at an average speed of 190 km/h, reaching almost 193 km/h on the best lap.
• Initially offered with a retuned 4566 cc six-cylinder inline petrol engine. cm and a capacity of 153 liters. With. Later, a 4887 cc version appeared. cm.
• For the sake of weight reduction, the engineers had to abandon the radio in the cabin.
• A total of H.J. Mulliner produced the bodies for 193 of the 208 cars produced between 1952 and 1955.
• In 1952, one car sold for £6,928 including purchase tax; this was almost 15 times the average annual income in the UK.
• Later production cars featured a lower roofline, a single-piece windshield, and redesigned fender lines.