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Old 22nd March 2010, 10:40   #241
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A very nice car indeed....come to think of it it does share certain styling cues with the 2.5/3.5 DHC from Jaguar
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Old 13th July 2010, 13:08   #242
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During a recent visit to Bombay I had the privilege of seeing one of the two 8 litre Bentleys in India, the Rony Khan car.

Rishad Kundanmal who is restoring the car most kindly offered to show me around the car on request I don't take any pictures. I was so excited to see the car I honestly didn't care if any pictures remained with me for the record.

I was speechless when I saw the car. Dumbstruck is more like it. What a car ! What an awesome car !!

Its sheer size and to top it all a two door coupe simply blew me away. I couldn't digest its proportions. Everything was on giant scale.

I couldn't believe my ears when Rishad said "I'll fire her up for you" Boy oh boy things don't get better than this I told myself.

I had never heard a 8 liter engine firing ever in my life. While walking around I had noticed the size of the exhaust pipe and was wondering if it will set off an earthquake on Peddar road.

With a few tries the monstrous engine fired and idled smoothly. I was totally impressed by how smooth the engine sounded. Rishad opened the exhaust bypass valve and the smooth rumble turned to a raucous burble. I guess when you are flat out and want that extra power you open that valve up for the additional push.

Rishad's petrol bunk is a most fascinating place with loads of vintage cars and other very interesting machines. His office is most unlike what you usually find on petrol bunks. Gorgeous ambience.

He most kindly showed me all the pictures of the condition the car came in and the extent of work done. Deeply impressive. I must say Rony Khan's family is lucky to have handed over such a monumental car to someone as capable as Rishad. I was floored by all the work carried out.

It was such an amazing afternoon for me. Incredible car to drool over, a great passionate enthusiast restorer to chat with and many fascinating pictures to be amazed with !!

We are truly fortunate to have such an amazing car here in India
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Old 13th July 2010, 14:57   #243
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Nice to hear this....so its now a closed coupe ?
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Old 13th July 2010, 15:19   #244
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Nice to hear this....so its now a closed coupe ?
No, I am afraid DKG is incorrect and has probably made a typo. The car is not a coupe. It does not have a fixed roof. It is a two door convertible with the expected retracting, cloth roof.

The Bhogilal car is the same, open to the sky but the body is not as pretty as the other car, and has four (odd) doors.

Of the 100 original 8 litres made (not couting the *******ised 3/8 litre cars we see knocking about), the minority were short chassis cars - more sporting. Again, a significant minority were not open cars as new. This has changed with time, with a number of owners choosing to convert the bodies to enjoy the full experience. The majority of the cars were purchased with limousine type bodies.
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Old 13th July 2010, 15:45   #245
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Not allowed to edit/add to my post for some reason...

The owner is lucky indeed to have found someone with the passion and know-how to demonstrate the attention to detail a major restoration like this requires. Equally, the restorer is as lucky to have an opportunity such as this to add to his CV and work on something that was once regarded as the pinnacle of British engineering.
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Old 13th July 2010, 18:12   #246
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If you look at the history of how the body style terms have been used its not a given that a "coupe" is always a closed 2dr car. It may have originally been a term referring to such a car but over the years many mfgs used the term coupe to refer to open cars too.

Infact the term came to refer so much more to open cars that mfg's then had to add the classification "fixed head" or "hardtop" to the term "coupe" when referring to closed 2dr cars.

So its not a typo Faster. I have deliberately called the car a coupe. Originally this very car was sold as a fixed head coupe (one of three such cars built).

The term convertible also came to be widely used to refer to cars with wind down glass windows. Open cars with curtains where either referred to as phaetons (4dr) or coupes (2dr)

BTW so many of these terms were used in such variance by so many mfgs its now pointless to state things as absolutes.
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Old 13th July 2010, 18:38   #247
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Fair enough DKG, but the car is certainly NOT a coupe by any stretch now.

My reasoning:

It's not a 2 or 2 + 2 seater.

It's not a drophead as it does not having the (arguably) required sloping rear quarters.

It's not a fixed head for obvious reasons.

That being said, it has two doors! But this is an argument for pedants and neither of us fall into that category! You're right to say the definition has changed over time and between marques. One man's coupe is another man's....

So, glad you enjoyed your time with the car. It is magnificent - certainly in my mind right up there with India's foremost and a step above the other 8 litre.


Last edited by Faster789 : 13th July 2010 at 18:43.
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Old 13th July 2010, 23:46   #248
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Originally Posted by DKG View Post
If you look at the history of how the body style terms have been used its not a given that a "coupe" is always a closed 2dr car. It may have originally been a term referring to such a car but over the years many mfgs used the term coupe to refer to open cars too.
Infact the term came to refer so much more to open cars that mfg's then had to add the classification "fixed head" or "hardtop" to the term "coupe" when referring to closed 2dr cars.
The term convertible also came to be widely used to refer to cars with wind down glass windows. Open cars with curtains where either referred to as phaetons (4dr) or coupes (2dr)
BTW so many of these terms were used in such variance by so many mfgs its now pointless to state things as absolutes.
Hi DKG,

I have to agree with Fasterxyz, and I am slightly surprised. We all know what a coupe is, a two door car with a roof, very commonly a fastback. A two door sedan also exists, so a coupe has to be a fastback. Just for kick I googled 'coupe cars' and Wiki started with "A coupé or coupe (from the [COLOR=#0645ad]French[/COLOR] verb couper, to cut) is a closed [COLOR=#0645ad]car body style[/COLOR], the precise definition of which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and over time............". We have all heard of Vintage cars with a 'Doctors Coupe" body, those were fixed roof cars. The Baroda 20HP apparently has an openable roof and is NOT a doctors coupe.
I will not google any further, but if convertibles are defined by having wind down windows, then what are phaetons? I believe that phaetons are 4-door convertible cars with winding side windows. Then there are tourers, convertibles without winding windows, they had side screens stuck in them. And convertibles are usually two door cars, sporty, with side glass winding down, and apply more to classics and modern cars. But a convertible coupe I do not think exists. But please let us have your views, because before this post I did not bother about these small definitions in detail.

Cheers harit
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Old 14th July 2010, 10:29   #249
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Harit like you said I too have never gone into these details so I guess I have to say that I honestly don't know all the definitions. But what I have understood over the years based on common references is this

Phaetons : invariably 4dr open cars with emergency curtains. Your Packard is not a Phaeton but a convertible sedan as per Packard's own definition. They had another car in 1936 without the wind down windows which looked almost similar to your car (139 inch wb as opposed to 144 for the conv) which was refered to as tourer.

Now again I am not sure but the term phaetons may have come to refer to 4/5 seater 4dr open cars and Tourer or Touring referred to 7 pax 4dr open cars (with addl aux seats between the front and rear seats) with emergency side curtains.

The issue with the Bentley is why did the company refer to the car originally as a fixed head coupe? If in the 30's the term coupe still referred to closed 2dr cars then they could very well have simply refered to it as a coupe. My hunch is that by 30's the term coupe became more synonymous with 2dr cars being used to refer to open as well as closed cars and hence the need to define the fixed head aspect.

What say?

BTW the Brits seemed to use three terms to describe 2dr open cars. Drop head coupe, roadster and cabriolet. DH Coupe I am inclined to think refers to a car with glass wind down windows. Roadster may refer to a strictly 2 seater open car while cabriolet may be something which is more apt for the Rony Khan Bentley? 8 litre 2+2 cabriolet !

I don't know just thinking aloud

Last edited by DKG : 14th July 2010 at 10:46.
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Old 14th July 2010, 11:25   #250
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But a convertible coupe I do not think exists
Packard in their '39 sales literature termed their 2dr soft top car with 4/5 seater config as a convertible coupe. It had glass wind down windows.

In earlier years they also called it a convertible victoria. These usually were similar to this Bentley with a second row of seats at the back but a 2dr car

At the same time their 2-4 seat hardtop was known as sports coupe and the open car was known as convertible coupe. Both these had a rumble seat

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Old 14th July 2010, 12:04   #251
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Oops that small question seems to have opened a flood gate so let me also add my views on it .

Phaeton - An open four door car without wind up windows and most importantly with an extended passenger seating area with or without an additional row of folding seats. Phaetons can be single cowl or double cowl with twin windscreens. What makes a car a Phaeton is the extended passen seating area and it being an open car.

Tourer - American term for a four door convertible with conventional seating and removable side screens and folding tops.

Convertible Sedan - Four door car with wind up windows and insultated hood that transforms the car into a sedan once erected. Two door versions of this bodystyle are termed Drop Head Coupes like the Jag XK 120 / 140.

Convertible - Typically a two/ four door car with a folding soft top that is not detachable. Could be with or without wind up windows can also be refered to as a Cabriolet

Roadster - must be a two door two seater with or without a skimpy / basic folding top that can be removed altogether and removable screens for windows like Jaguar XK 120 Roadster. Rumbe seat Roadsters have an addition seat out back.

Coupe - Is exclusively used for denote a closed two door two seater or a two + two with proper wind up windows. This term has been widened to include Fixed Head and Drop Head Coupe being two door convertibles with winding windows and full fixed folding soft tops.

Convertible Coupe - This refers to an open 2 door 2 or 2+2 seater with full weather equipment, usulally used in Europe exclusively

These are the broad definitions for the different bodystyles used by the vintage and classic car community. Now manifacturere interpretations of the above terms have been know to vary and don't really accurately describe the product, VW Phaeton being on that comes to mind.

Now going by the old pictures of this 8 Litre Bentley the body it sported was in the Roadster style with those rather funny cut doors.

Is this same body being restored or have changes been made to it to make it look more gracefull ?

Last edited by wasif : 14th July 2010 at 12:05.
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Old 14th July 2010, 14:19   #252
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Is this same body being restored or have changes been made to it to make it look more gracefull ?
The pictures everyone is referring to and on this thread, was taken in the 60s. The car has had correct doors since at least the 70s to my knowledge - Roni Khan saw to do that quite swiftly. The current bodywork is in my opinion, quite elegant with lots of little touches and detail, excellent wheel arches, complete doors and a sporting roof. It would appear to be in a subtle two tone colour. At the end of the day, with a car as massive and historic as this it's rarely about "graceful". It's about presence, which it has in bags.

The owner and restorer have an excellent sense of history, originality and car knowledge, so it should be a good restoration at the end of it all but perhaps not quite to the standard one might expect from a foreign firm of restorers but that is purely down to the skills and equipment in India.

DKG would appear to have seen the car more recently than I - best person to ask.

Last edited by Faster789 : 14th July 2010 at 14:23.
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Old 14th July 2010, 15:51   #253
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The car has had correct doors since at least the 70s to my knowledge - Roni Khan saw to do that quite swiftly.
You are correct. If I recall correctly Rishad mentioned they had redone the doors long time back when the car was still in another town in storage

Quote:
The current bodywork is in my opinion, quite elegant with lots of little touches and detail, excellent wheel arches, complete doors and a sporting roof.
The front fenders as appeared in the old picture have been restyled more appropriately and look fabulous. Like you say the car looks handsome now.

Quote:
but perhaps not quite to the standard one might expect from a foreign firm of restorers but that is purely down to the skills and equipment in India.
Given the scale of the restoration Rishad undertook for this car its evident things needed to be put in place to ensure the car is all fitted right and drove well.

Now that he's close to signing off on such issues I am sure he will devote more time refinishing every panel and piece to a much higher standard.
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Old 14th July 2010, 16:28   #254
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There's a possibility this car may have looked like this when sold new. The fenders of the car in the old picture are similar. Now it has something more like motorcycle mudguards (look fab)

Classic Bentleys in India-bentley8litregurneynuttingsportsmancoupe_4.jpg

Classic Bentleys in India-bentley8litregurneynuttingsportsmancoupe_8.jpg
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Old 14th July 2010, 16:58   #255
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That's YR5088 - called a Sportsman Coupe, but not that sporty really!

Sold for a huge amount at RM's auctions a couple of years ago. To my mind, looks very much like a Bugatti Royale... almost the same colour scheme as a rather famous one.

I doubt the Indian 8 litre looked much like that. First off, this body is Gurney Nutting while the Indian car is Mulliner and they were very different coach builders. Gurney Nutting being the "prettier" coachbuilder in my opinion. This car has very typical GN sloping rear bodywork, while both the India Bentleys end at the rear rather less elegantly, but still look rather good.
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