Only one hundred 8 Litre Bentleys were built, all in 1931, before the company was taken over by Rolls-Royce. More than 70 survive.
UL7, as this particular 8 Litre has come to be known by its registration number, began life as an Arthur Mulliner Sedanca Deville. In 1936 the car was acquired by A.C. Clark, upon whose instructions Mac McKenzie, the high priest of vintage Bentleys, went to work and, in his own words, “altered nearly everything to produce the nicest one I ever built intended for fast and comfortable Continental touring”.
The modifications included lowering the scuttle and radiator by 5 inches, three SU carburettors, twin magnetos, high compression pistons, and a 3.3 to 1 differential. The old body was discarded and a four seater tourer built by Corsica was installed. All of the work was finished by 1937.
YM 5050 is one of three McKenzie/Corsica 8 Litre Bentleys built in the mid- to late-1930s. YX5115 today is in the Collier collection in Naples, FL, and YX5121, the famous record setting Forrest Lycett car, which as late as 1959 set the flying kilometer record of 141mph at Jabbeke, Belgium, belongs to Neil Corner.
Oliver Goodwin bought UL7 in April, 1945 and used it on many tours including the Swedish Rally to the Midnight Sun in 1950. Stanley Sedgwick (President of the BDC, 1947-1980) bought the car from Goodwin in 1971 and drove the car extensively, including fast trips to the south of France, the first Monte Carlo rally for old cars and his famous 1000 miles in a day trip to the north of England and back.
As well, he did the Paris Deauville Rally and a South Africa tour in 1983. All of Stanley’s travels with the car are documented extensively in his wonderful book, Motoring My Way. He is pictured at the wheel of UL7 in the Terence Cuneo portrait at BDC headquarters. In 1988 Stanley, then age 74, sold the car to Bill Woodword. The car ran in the 1996 Mille Miglia among other rallies and was acquired by Hunter Classics in December, 2002.
After some minor refurbishments it participated in the 2003 Mille Miglia, the 2005 Colorado Grand and the North American Vintage Bentley Meets from ’04 through ’07, and ’09 through ’15. In June, 2008 it participated in the CCCA Montana Tour, and in August, that year, received the Lion award at Meadow Brook.
In 2016 it participated in the 1st international 8 Litre tour in Switzerland and Germany, and in September, the Concours of Elegance and tour at Windsor Castle.