This book by prize-winning author Karl Ludvigsen offers auto enthusiasts a time-travelling adventure in its description of the evolution of the V-8 engine. It begins more than a century ago when Rolls-Royce built one of the world’s first V-8 engines. The saga races through decades of engineering experiment and creativity as Bentley, famed for its racing exploits at Le Mans, exploited the exotic potential of supercharging. When the fortunes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley combined in the 1950s, both needed a new engine, and hitherto-secret reports and exclusive interviews take the reader behind the scenes of the new V-8’s creation.
Further evolution came with Bentley’s need for a sporting engine, leading to the development of turbo-supercharging and the introduction of the 300-horsepower Mulsanne Turbo in 1982, the first big high-performance saloon. Here too the reader rides with the engineers as they make this significant advance in car design.
At the end of the twentieth century, after a tug-of-war with BMW, Bentley found itself part of the Volkswagen Group, and the resources of its new owner helped bring Bentley’s new Great Eight to heights of performance and perfection.
Lavishly illustrated, the book portrays some of the world’s greatest cars from the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and Corniche to Bentley’s Continental, Azure, Arnage, Brooklands and Mulsanne. It introduces the reader to the engineers and executives whose enthusiasm for the V-8 engine has not only prolonged the half-century lifetime of one of the world’s most accomplished engines but also endowed it with the advanced technologies of the twenty-first century. Bringing its unique perspective to the world of the automobile, Bentley’s Great Eight will appeal to all lovers of the history of technology.
Karl Ludvigsen has been active for over fifty years as a motoring historian. As author, co-author or editor, he has more than four dozen books to his credit. A former editor of Car and Driver, Ludvigsen has worked at senior levels for GM, Fiat and Ford, and was the head of a leading motor industry management consultancy. His Ludvigsen Library is a world-renowned source of car and racing photography and information. For more information or to purchase this book please visit www.daltonwatson.com Dalton Watson Fine Books