A 1931 Bentley 8 Litre Gurney Nutting Sports Tourer owned by Sir Michael Kadoorie of Hong Kong won Best of Show at the 69th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, held Sunday, August 18, 2019 on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.
There were many contenders for Best of Show at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. In the final circle, the winning 8 Litre Bentley was joined by a 1938 Talbot-Lago T150C-SS Figoni and Falaschi Teardrop Cabriolet owned by Richard and Melanie Lundquist of Palos Verdes Estates, California, the 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Erdmann and Rossi Special Cabriolet owned by the Keller Collection at the Pyramids in Petaluma, California and the 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato Coupe owned by David F. MacNeil of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A Bentley last claimed the Best of Show trophy at the Pebble Beach Concours in 1965.
As the golden ribbon was placed upon the windshield alongside ribbons garnered for the car’s class win and completion of the Pebble Beach Tour, Kadoorie expressed his gratitude for the award and the car.
“The Centennial of Bentley may have played a role in this award,” he said, “but the 8 Litre is the ultimate W. O. Bentley–era automobile. This is the car that represents Bentley at its finest, and I have been very fortunate to have a car that has this elegance and finish, and that the Pebble Beach Concours feels is worthy. This is a high I have not known before.”
The Bentley 8 Litre was basically an enlarged version of the Speed Six with a new and lower chassis. Designed to go head-to-head with the new Rolls-Royce Phantom II, the first 8 Litres appeared at the Olympia Motor Show in October 1930 and created a sensation. At the time of the 8 Litre’s launch, W. O. Bentley wrote, “I have always wanted to produce a completely silent, 100 mph car, and now I think we have done it.” Such was the power of the car’s 7,983 cc, straight-six engine that the company guaranteed it would be capable of over 100 mph, regardless of the coachwork.
The Best of Show-winning Sports Tourer — with its dual cowl and detachable rear windscreen — is one of two short-chassis 8 Litres built with this particular Gurney Nutting body style. The body of the other car was transferred to a Rolls-Royce Phantom chassis many years ago, making this the sole surviving example. The car has been driven on many tours and rallies over the years and received its first full restoration in 2004. Kadoorie acquired the car in 2010.
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 2019 gathered 216 cars from 17 countries and 31 states on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links. This year, the Concours also raised more than $2 million for charity. Through the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, the primary charitable partner of the Concours, these funds will benefit over 80 local charities, impacting the lives of more than 10,000 children annually in Monterey County.
The 70th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will take place on Sunday, August 16, 2020, and will celebrate 70 years of Pebble Beach Concours Best of Show winners, Pininfarina, and Porsche 917s.
1931 Bentley 8 Litre Gurney Nutting Sports Tourer, Pebble Beach Concours 2019 – Best of Show Winner Photo Gallery (photos: Richard Michael Owen)
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[Source: Pebble Beach Concours; photos: Richard Michael Owen]