"Red Label" 3 Litre Bentley short-chassis Speed model touring car, 1924

1924 in Cricklewood
Bentley 3 litre touring car

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Bentley 3 litre touring car
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

This car is a 3 Litre Bentley short-chassis Speed model, the so-called "Red Label". It was manufactured by Bentley Motors Ltd. in 1924. Coachbuilders Vanden Plas built the body. The car has a four-cylinder, water-cooled engine and a four-speed gearbox, controlled by a right hand gate change. The engine develops 90 b.h.p. at 3,500 r.p.m. Each cylinder has two overhead inlet and two overhead exhaust valves operated by a single overhead camshaft. Engine no. NR 515 S, original engine no. 805, chassis no. 799, registration no. XW8863.

After the First World War, there were very few cars available for private use as almost no new cars had been built since 1914 and the small number of second hand ones were expensive and lacked power. It was against this backdrop that W O Bentley designed his first car, the 3-litre Bentley, in 1919. Using his engineering training, and experience racing and selling French DFP cars and designing aero engines, Bentley wanted to create a reliable, quiet, comfortable and fast sports car. With Bentley Motors as a leading manufacturer, the 1920s were the heyday of the vintage sports car.


Road Transport
Object Number:
C J Bendall Limited