No made : 50
Engine : 6
cylinder, in-line conformation, cast iron cylinder block, bore and stroke
85 x 115mm.
engine capacity 3,915 cc
Transmission : Single dry plate type clutch, 4 speed gearbox
Chassis : Pressed
steel parallel girder with large diameter tubular crossmembers,
semi-elliptic springs front and rear.
Dimensions : Wheelbase 3,403.6 mm or 3,556 mm
Performance : Max. speed 83 mph (134 km/h)
Radiator Badge : Blue enamel.
Bentley himself had viewed these
plans sceptically. His advice, that the 4 Litre Bentley in respect of
acceleration and top speed would not live up to the expectations of the Bentley clientele, was ignored.
He had no influence on the concept, because the 4 Litre Bentley was derived from the chassis of the 8
Litre Bentley with an engine designed by Harry Ricardo.
Observed from a distance of over
60 years, and without the jaundiced view of the Bentley's purists,
who still share Bentley's opinion completely, the outcome of this combination of chassis and engine should be
judged as competent, one which could justifiably be considered as in the same class as the 20/25 but offering
The engine's design broke with everything
that had been typical for Bentley up to then. The inlet valves were
arranged in a detachable cylinder head, the exhaust valves in the cylinder block. Crankcase and oil sump
were made from the magnesium alloy, Elektron.The massively dimensioned crankshaft ran in seven main
bearings. At 4,000 rpm the engine delivered 120 bhp.
With the exception of small details
the chassis was identical in design with that of the 8 Litre Bentley.
In fact all those chassis already produced for the 8 Litre - now no longer needed because of the depressed
market - were modified for use in the 4 Litre models, so saving much needed cash.
For the small car the frames were
shortened to wheelbases of 134 inches or 140 inches.
A novelty was the centralised chassis lubrication from Tecalemit which was operated by a foot pump.
This limited the work of greasing to the lubrication points at the propeller shaft and the front axle.
The first 4 Litre Bentley was registered
in May 1931. Up to the collapse of the company, exactly 50 cars
were finished, 39 of these of short wheelbase, the other 11 of long wheelbase.Customers did not queue for this car.
The finished chassis were taken over with all the other Bentley assets by Rolls-Royce, but sold in one batch
to Jack Barclay, the leading London dealer. He managed to sell them one by one. The last 4 Litre Bentley
was not registered until June 1933.