The 69th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance crowned a 1931 Bentley 8 Litre Gurney Nutting Grand Tourer as Best of Show. This is only the second time a Bentley took home the prestigious honor, with last one occurring in 1965 courtesy of a 1927 4 ½ Liter Vanden Plas Tourer.
Is it coincidental a Bentley won Best of Show in the same year the British carmaker is celebrating its 100th anniversary? Nobody knows for sure, but the 8 Litre Gurney Nutting Sports Tourer is a tough act to follow.
The 8 Litre Gurney Nutting is W.O. Bentley’s Finest Grand Tourer
However, it wasn’t only the finest grand tourer of Bentley during that era. It was also the last car designed by W.O. Bentley himself, which makes it incredibly special. The Bentley 8 Litre is the largest and most luxurious Bentley of its time. It was made between 1930 and 1932. The award-winning Bentley 8 Liter at Pebble Beach is owned by the Honorable Sir Michael Kadoorie of Hong Kong.
We can’t think of a better gift for Bentley’s centenary than winning Best of Show at Concours d’Elegance. Oh wait, Bentley already gifted itself with the EXP 100 GT concept, and it’s essentially a peek into the future of Bentley motorcars. I guess winning Best of Show is the icing on the cake.
Bentley only built 100 units of the 8 Litre
When Bentley introduced the 8 Litre in 1930, it also coincided with the Wall Street Crash. The worldwide depression affected the demand for large and fastidious grand touring machines. As a result, Bentley encountered financial difficulties and only built 100 units of the 8 Litre between 1930 and 1932.
But the best of show winner at Pebble Beach is not an ordinary, limited-run Bentley 8 Litre. The bodywork is courtesy of Gurney Nutting with only two vehicles built in this configuration. The car went into restoration in 2004 and was acquired by its current owner back in 2010.
The 8 Litre Bentley is powered by a majestic 8.0-liter inline-six
At that time, the Bentley 8 Litre had the largest engine of any available car in the United Kingdom. The crankcase of this powerful motor is crafted from an Elektron magnesium alloy material. It produces 200 to 230-horsepower and recorded a 100-mph top speed, which was unprecedented in the 1930s. The first production car was delivered to music hall star Jack ‘Gentleman’ Buchanan on October 1930. The second 8 Litre to roll off the production line belonged to W.O. Bentley and was used as his personal car over the next couple of years.
2019 Concours d’Elegance: The Runner Ups
While the 1931 Bentley took Best of Show, the runner ups were all equally awe-inspiring. One we most admire is the 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato Coupe. It is considered by many to be the most desirable and most expensive of all classic Aston Martin vehicles and is built to beat the Ferrari 250 GT on the racetrack. The luscious DB4GT Zagato Coupe at Pebble Beach is owned by David F. Mac Neil.
The Keller Corporation at the Pyramids is the proud owner of the 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K with coachwork by Erdmann & Rossi. Mercedes-Benz built the 540K from 1936 to 1940 and is available as a two-seater cabriolet, four-seater coupe, or seven-seat limousine. It’s powered by a 5.4-liter straight-eight motor with either a 4-speed or optional five-speed manual transmission.
Last but certainly not least is the 1938 Talbot-Lago T150C-SS with coachwork by Figoni & Falaschi. Unbeknownst to many, Talbot-Lago is a French automobile manufacturer based in Hauts de Seine just outside Paris. The Talbot-Lago T150C-SS at Pebble Bech is owned by Richard & Melanie Lundquist.
Congratulations to 100 years of Bentley and for winning Best of Show at the 2019 Concours d’Elegance !