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Rossfeldt Book

Car of the Month - October 2000
Bentley 3/8 Special based on
Bentley 3 Litre, 1924, #477

Bentley 3/8 Special

The Bentley 3 Litre was the first model to be built when the company started in the early 20ies. Over the years the fundamentally sound design benefitted from a vast array of changes mainly to achieve more efficient and reliable performance. Virtually there were no two cars identical. Apart from those changes which found their way from the drawing board into production engines incorporated fitters' modifications. Different gearboxes could be opted for by clients as well as these had the choice between various spring settings. Standard chassis were made to Speed Model specification. There was but one basic factor: to tailor any car exactly to the customer's desire.

Bentley 3/8 Special

Through the whole period however, when Bentley acted as an independent manufacturer (in 1931 the company was taken over by Rolls-Royce) never a Bentley 3 Litre was delivered like the Bentley 3/8 Special shown here. What still exists from the company documents doesn't give a hint what the original coachwork fitted to chassis number #477 might have looked like. In a book devoted to Bentley motor cars it is listed as a 4-seater tourer.

Hence the car's present appearance is the result of major alterations. A clearly modified chassis is clothed with a 2-seater body. No longer an engine with 3 litres capacity is to be found under the bonnet; power is supplied by an 8-litre engine. The original Bentley 3 Litre had an impressive performance by the standards of that period – this Bentley 3/8 Special has an exhilirating performance even by today's standards....

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The company's sales brochure showed what was considered as a typical Two-Seater on Speed Model Chassis.

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