” You know that old saying “There’s no replacement for displacement”? Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t coined by some nitro junkie who piloted a blown Hemi down a quarter mile drag strip. It was instead the mantra for one of the world’s premiere luxury and performance car builders, and in a lot of ways, it continues to characterize the spirit of the now 94 year old Bentley Motor Company. Not only were Bentley’s initial offerings envisioned as luxury coaches, they were also purposed as rugged performance cars that could win just about any race they entered. And this 1928 Semi-Le Mans Sports Tourer, chassis number MF3153, is a literal embodiment of everything the brand stands for!
In the early 1900s, Walter Owen Bentley entered a partnership with his brother Horace Millner Bentley to sell French DFP cars. But Walter had always wanted to design and build his own range of automobiles and, in October of 1919, he exhibited a Bentley Motors dummy chassis at the London Motor Show. Not surprisingly, that chassis debuted to great fanfare. And in September of 1921, the world’s first Bentleys, equipped with an innovative, Clive Gallop-designed engine, were in the hands of a few dedicated customers. The new car’s durability immediately earned widespread acclaim with it chassis’ making appearances at hill climbs, Brooklands and even the 1922 Indianapolis 500. And by the mid-20s, a group of wealthy British motorists had donned the nickname ‘The Bentley Boys’ and built up quite a reputation for the marque’s high performance capabilities. ”