21st Jun, 2023 13:00

The Alexander 'Alex' Tanner Collection

Lot 52


1932 Bentley 4/8-Litre Tourer

1932 Bentley 4/8-Litre Tourer
Registration Number: GT 8776
Chassis Number: VF4008
Engine Number: WK2665

With their ultra-desirable running gear based on the 8-Litre chassis, many 4-Litre Bentleys were converted into specials using the more traditional and often more powerful WO Bentley engines. GT 8776 is one such car, having started life as a standard 4-Litre in January 1932, it originally wore HJ Mulliner saloon coachwork. Many decades ago, this body was removed and, according to Michael Hay, reinstated on a Rolls-Royce Phantom II. Apparently dismantled by the late 1960s, it was later rejuvenated and rebodied with a curvaceous Vanden Plas body, in which form Alex Tanner bought the car.

Discovering the coachwork was not best suited to his intended trips overseas and with the 4-Litre running gear widely regarded as the ultimate 'blank canvas' for the basis of that mythical beast, the 'Le Mans-style 8-Litre', Alex Tanner instructed specialists, VBE Restorations, to create for him such a car from VF4008. The 4-Litre's major components have remained together, but with the addition of a powerhouse of an 8-Litre engine.

The engine is based on a 6 ½-Litre, formerly fitted to a William Arnold saloon, and had been on loan to, and displayed at the BDC HQ. A rebuild to 8-Litre specification, with a new crankshaft with modern shells, special rods, crankcase conversion and opening up the crankcase to suit 110mm pistons, was carried out by Elmdon Vintage Automobiles Ltd.

Clearly constructed to a very high specification, the 8-Litre has been used since 2010 for extensive touring on the Continent, including almost annual trips on the 'Downs' Vintage Bentley Tours of France.

Finished in very dark British Racing Green, the coachwork is in Vanden Plas-style 'Le Mans' four-seat tourer configuration, with fabric-covered body, cycle wings, leather bonnet straps and quick-release radiator cap. Headlights are large diameter, top-quality Carl Zeiss.

The green leather interior with green carpeting is in lovely condition and just starting to mellow. The rear seats were removed to provide extra luggage space and, now refitted, show hardly any use. Matching door cards feature a raised 'B' detail and the steering wheel is string-bound.

The engine bay is in wonderfully presented condition and obviously dominated by the near-monolithic triple-carburettored engine. Bills on file refer to further engine work being undertaken to the cam damper and to improve the cooling system by NDR Ltd. in 2017.

A small quantity of paperwork is present with the car together with a current V5C Registration Certificate.

Take advantage of our Sworders Delivery Service. Please see 'Shipping estimate' below.

Sold for £220,000



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Auction: The Alexander 'Alex' Tanner Collection, 21st Jun, 2023


By order of the executors of Alex Tanner, we are delighted to present this fine single owner collection of pre-war classic and modern Bentleys, a Riley RMB and a US Army Dodge Troop Carrier, together with a collection of Automobilia, acquired over some 27 years by former Chairman of the Bentley Drivers Club.




Stansted Viewing | Auction

Viewing will be held at our Stansted Auction Rooms, Cambridge Road, Stansted Mountfitchet CM24 8GE, as follows:

Friday 16 June, 10am - 4pm 

Saturday 17 June, 10am - 1pm 

Sunday 18 June, 10am - 1pm 

Monday 19 June, 10am - 4pm

Tuesday 20 June, 10am - 4pm  

Wednesday 21 June, 10am - 1pm

Please Note:  Viewing is dependent on the purchase of a sale catalogue at £15. 


The auction will take place at our Stansted Auction Rooms, Cambridge Road, Stansted Mountfitchet CM24 8GE.

View all lots in this sale

Please note that this item is not suitable for a pre-sale automated shipping estimate due to the items weight/size. 

The below table shows indicative shipping costs for larger items being delivered within the UK mainland. Please note that all the below costs are purely for indicative purposes and are to be used as a guideline only. If you purchase multiple large items, we will combine deliveries to reduce the shipping costs. 

Should you be successful in buying this item, a specific shipping estimate will need to be requested after the sale using the link in your invoice email; this also includes all requests for international delivery.

If you would like further information about shipping and collection please see here.


Buying a pre-loved, antique, or vintage item not only provides you with unique style and value for money but it also helps to reduce landfill, and the annual emissions of an antique or vintage piece can be as little as one sixteenth of those of its new equivalent!

Sworders is proud to be supporting the work of Antiques are Green - the movement that was founded in 2009 to promote “a greener future created from the past”. Read their fascinating carbon footprint study of a Georgian chest of drawers versus a modern equivalent here


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