8-Litre Bentley Barn-Finds
When Mark Hyman, president of Hyman Ltd Classic Cars in St Louis, Missouri, visited an ‘eccentric acquaintance and fellow collector’ in Ohio, he had no idea what he was about to discover. As the collector opened the doors of his turn-of-the-century barn, Hyman describes the effect it had on him: “I could feel the adrenalin. My mouth dropped when I saw all these magnificent classics side by side. People dream of discoveries like this – it was one of the most exciting days of my life.”
After a lifetime of personal car collecting, Hyman is rarely surprised by automotive discoveries but the 15 rare classics, including two 8-litre Bentleys, shocked even him. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that ended with Hyman buying all 15 cars within hours of arriving. In addition to the two Bentleys, the collection included a 1931 Cadillac Dual Cowl Phaeton, 1941 Cadillac Coupe, 1938 Lagonda Drophead, 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I, 1956 Cadillac Limousine, 1967 Corvette Roadster and seven other classics.
Hyman quickly flew back to St. Louis and assembled personnel from his company, along with a few friends to help retrieve his new-found automotive treasures. The crew used four tractor-trailers to haul vehicles back to the company’s restoration and sales facility in St. Louis. The barn was three-quarters of a mile from the road, so the team used the flatbed truck to tow each vehicle to the trailers. From 6am until midnight, Hyman and his group of helpers worked diligently to transport each vehicle without causing damage. Despite the lack of recent maintenance, the cars were still in fairly good condition after being restored back in the 1970s.
The first 8-litre (YR5086) has a standard 13-foot wheelbase and its original engine. As with many 8-litre Bentleys, the car was equipped as a limousine with coachwork by Thrupp & Maberly. YR5086 was shipped to the U.S. in 1966, while the other Bentley, YX5112, was one of the very last 8-litres to be manufactured and features a shorter, 12-foot wheelbase, and coachwork by Gurney Nutting.
“After giving both Bentleys a mechanical refresh, I plan on keeping one in my personal collection and selling the other,” said Hyman. “I look forward to driving this amazing vehicle around town and in rallies across the country.”
Hyman Ltd Classic Cars, founded in 1989, is a group of automotive professionals who share an intense passion for classic motor cars, and who search the world to acquire rare and unusual cars of exceptional quality. The company specialises in the acquisition and sale of pre-War classics, post-War American collectible cars and both pre- and post-War sports cars, including complete collections. Its 35,000-square-foot facility is centrally located in St. Louis.
For more information about Hyman Ltd Classic Cars, see www.hymanltd.com.
Please click HERE to see Hyman Ltd's cars for sale in the Classic Driver car database.
Text - Charis Whitcombe
Photos - Mark Hyman
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