The Mark VI Bentley, first seen in 1946, was powered by a 6-cylinder engine with an inlet-over-exhaust (IOE) valve, 6-cylinder engine of 4,257cc mounted on a separate chassis with independent front suspension; this was quite an engineering advancement for its time. The Mark VI was powerful and beautiful, especially with custom coachwork from one of the many coachbuilders from the United Kingdom and Europe.
This is one of seven Mark VI two-door coupes with one of the more graceful body styles found on the Mark VI chassis, crafted by Hooper & Company of London, the coachbuilders to the Royal Family. Hooper was renowned for its excellent, quality construction and advanced modern design. The design department was led by stylist Osmond Rivers, who was responsible for the flowing Empress fenders, which began at the front of the body and then sweep down the flanks to the rear.
Sold for $31,900 at 2011 RM Sothebys. The Bentley Mark VI made its debut in 1946 and was the first postwar Bentley automobile of Rolls-Royce design. It represented a complete break from the old designs as it was designed and built as a complete car with standardized pressed-steel coachwork. The bodies were built by The Pressed Steel Company of Oxford, which were reminiscent of the Park Ward-bodied Mark V of the late 1930s. Ex-Gurney Nutting Chief Designer John Blatchley applied the detail features.
Power was from a 4.3-liter F-head six-cylinder engined similar to the B60-Series engine. It had a one-piece cylinder block casting with an integral crankcase, as well as a fan belt-driven generator and water pump. The Mark VI had a four-speed gearbox and an independent front suspension.
This Mark VI is an original left-hand drive example and was delivered new by New York's J.S. Inskip to William Durant Campbell. Options original to this car include a sealed-beam headlamps and bonnet locks. The car has had three owners before coming into the car of the current owner in 2007.
Since that time, the car has been refinished in black and the tan upholstery has been restored. The brightwork has been selectively restored as required.
In 2011, the car was offered for sale in Monterey, Ca. presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $45,000-$65,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $31,900, including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2011
Sold for $71,500 at 2010 RM Sothebys. This Bentley MK VI Countryman wears coachwork by Harold Radford. It had wooden body panels and special equipment for the country gentleman. Radford built eight examples of the Countryman in 1949, with all being right-hand drive and crafted with unique fittings and style, as per each client's wishes.
This car wears an older restoration and has been meticulously maintained over the years. The current owner acquired the car in 2005.
It is finished in silver with opulent interior leatherwork. It is equipped with an AM/FM radio and a sunroof. Power is from an F-head six-cylinder engine fitted with dual SU carburetors and capable of producing 132 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual transmission and hydraulic front and mechanical rear drums.
In 2010, it was offered for sale at the Vintage Motor Cars of Meadow Brook event presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $50,000-$70,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $71,500 including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010
The car is believed to be one of two DHC's built in 1950 by Graber of Switzerland. The engine is a 4-1/4 liter six-cylinder, intake valves are overhead, exhaust valves in the block, and has a four-speed standard transmission.
The car was purchased at the Barrett Jackson 2003 auction in Phoenix. The current owner uses the car as a driver and enjoys it very much.
For two to three years after World War II, most cars were basically carry-overs from 1941 and 1942 models. Rolls-Royce differed in that it introduced all-new Rolls-Royce and Bentley models. The Mark VI Bentley, introduced in 1946, had a 6-cylinder, 4.25 liter, F head engine with a 4-speed transmission. They were a delight to drive and extremely reliable.
Prior to World War II Rolls-Royce and Bentley produced only chassis and custom coach builders built the bodies. Starting in 1946 Rolls-Royce produced complete cars with bodies, but chassis continued to be supplied to coachbuilders for custom bodies. This Bentley has a custom Lightweight Salon body produced by H.J. Mulliner. It looks original from the outside but has been modified to permit access in a wheelchair and permit driving from the wheelchair.
The steering was changed from right hand to left hand drive with power steering added; custom hand controls were added; and the 4-speed transmission replaced with an automatic. To make entry and exit easy and allow room from the wheelchair, the driver's side door has been modified to slide back sideways, the floor has been lowered and a power lift added. In order to be able to lower the floor it has been converted from rear wheel drive to front wheel drive with a LT1 Corvette engine with Toronado transmission and differential and Chevy Blazer front axle, eliminating the drive shaft.
In 1946 Bentley introduced the Mark VI which stayed in production until 1952 with just over 5200 examples being produced. The Mark VI's were large and impressive four-door automobiles. This marked the first automobile completely constructed by Rolls Royce and signified their desire to move towards a 'standardized' body construction. Prior to this, Rolls Royce and Bentley provided a rolling chassis to coachbuilders. The vehicle was then outfitted, often under the direction of the individual buyer. This meant that the specifications often varied and each creation was a unique design. The Standard Steel Saloon body was produced at Pressed Steel's factory and delivered as a shell to the Rolls Royce factory. The body was then fitted to the chassis. It then received paint, lights, and chrome. The headlamps were no longer separate units but were integrated into the front wings. The interior was the final step in the build. It was outfitted in leather from Connolly and walnut veneer. Prior to 1949, all models were right hand drive and right side floor shift, which suited the British market. From 1949, the Bentley Mark VI was equivalent to the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn. Their biggest difference was in their performance, with the Bentley the clear champion.
A sunroof and rear wheel spats were optional equipment. Later, the sunroof became standard on all Bentley Mark VI models.
The Bentley Mark VI saw very few changes during its six year production life span. The most significant change was the adaptation of an enlarged engine which was introduced in 1951. The 4566 cc (4.5 liter) engine did improve the performance of the vehicle.
Four thousand of the Mark VI's were outfitted with a F-Head 4257 cc (4.25 liter) inline-six cylinder engine with twin SU carburetors, and aluminum cylinder head. Power was sent to the rear wheels courtesy of a four-speed manual gearbox with single plate clutch. Top speed was achieved around 94 mph. Servo assisted Drum brakes provided the stopping power and the suspension were independent with coil springs.
Around 1000 of the Bentley Mark VI's were sent to individual coachbuilders. Some of the notable coachbuilders were H.J. Mulliner, James Young, Pinin Farina, Franay, Park Ward, Saoutchik and Facel. Their designs included custom sedans and convertible, also referred to as dropheads.
These rare creations were given additional attention to detail to satisfy their exclusive clientele. In modern times, they are highly sought after.
Four thousand Bentley Mark VI's were created with the 4257 cc engine with 832 examples being outfitted by coachbuilders. 1202 Bentley Mark VI's were created with the 4566 cc engine with 180 examples being outfitted by coachbuilders.
The Mark VI was succeeded by the R-Type Bentley. Many of the Bentley Mark VI's have not survived, this is mostly attributed to their poor steel quality of the early postwar years which results in rust. By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006