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 Bentleys in a Barn

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elcobra44
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Number of posts : 323
Age : 38
Location : Glendale Heights, IL
Vehicle : 2006 Dodge Charger R/T
Registration date : 2007-12-21

PostSubject: Bentleys in a Barn   Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:14 pm

Collector scores two rare 1931 8-liter Bentleys among treasure trove of vintage machines
By Rory Jurnecka



Car collector and dealer Mark Hyman didn't know what to expect when he was led into the old barn on an acquaintance's Ohio dilapidated farm property. Hyman knew the man was a fellow enthusiast, but until he saw 15 classic cars packed mere inches apart inside the wooden structure, he had no idea to what degree.

"My mouth dropped when I saw all of those magnificent classics side by side," recounts Hyman. "It was one of the most exciting days of my life."

As it turned out, among the vehicles shacked up in the barn together, were two vintage 1931 8-liter Bentleys, 1931 Cadillac Dual Cowl Phaeton, 1941 Cadillac Coupe, 1938 Lagonda Drophead, 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I, 1956 Cadillac Limousine, 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster, and seven other collector cars. So Hyman did the only reasonable thing a self-respecting enthusiast could do. He bought every last one of them.

"They weren't for sale at ten in the morning, but they were all sold by five o'clock," Hyman recalls. Hyman says the negotiation process wasn't so much about money, but convincing the reluctant seller that he was the right person to buy them. Nevertheless, by the time a deal was struck, Hyman was dumbfounded.

"I left and got back in my car and wondered 'Did that really just happen?'," Hyman said.

By the end of the day, Hyman was already back home in St. Louis gathering friends and associates to help him transport his new-found collection. It took four tractor-trailers and 18 hours to carefully relocate the cars. According to Hyman, the vehicles were still in relatively good condition, given their accommodations over the last thirty years. Most of the vehicles were last restored in the 1960s, Hyman guesses, with little use since.

Arguably, the two 8-liter Bentleys Hyman bought are the most significant vehicles in the collection. The first is fitted with limousine coachwork by period coachbuilder Thrupp & Maberly, having first arrived in the U.S. in 1966. The second car was built near the end of 8-liter production and was built with a 12-foot short wheelbase design and modified dual windshield touring coachwork by Gerney Nutting.

The 8-liter Bentleys were produced between 1930 and 1932, most carrying either limousine or coupe coachwork. Only around 100 cars were built in this configuration and the short-wheelbase version is significantly rarer than the long-wheelbase model. Top speed depends on the type of coachwork and chassis the 8-liter is equipped with, but should be just north of 100 mph for most examples - impressive in a time when the most powerful Rolls-Royce models were only capable of 80-90 mph.

Hyman has already devised future plans for the two Bentleys.

"After giving both Bentleys a mechanical refresh, I plan on keeping one in my personal collection and selling the other to a legion of Bentley fans," Hyman says. "I look forward to driving this amazing vehicle around town and in rallies across the country."

Still, Hyman looks back on that day with awe. "It was just one of those things," he sighs. "I was just in the right place at the right time."





http://www.motortrend.com/features/auto_news/2007/112_0711_barn_find_bentleys
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