1949 Bentley Mark VI

Three-Position Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Worblaufen
This car appeared on the Rolls-Royce & Bentley stand at the 1950 Geneva Auto Show. This three-position drophead coupe is one of maybe two that has coachwork designed by Worblaufen of Geneva, Switzerland, mounted on a Bentley Mark VI chassis for the 1950 show. Fritz Ramseier was the designer. It traveled through France in the years immediately after the show. In the early 1960s it was acquired by a California owner and then to Jean Pierre who sold it to the current owners in 1978.

The Mark VI chassis consists of X-braced channel steel, front independent suspension by coil springs and wishbones, rear suspension by semi-elliptic leaf spring and 4-wheel drum brakes. The car is powered by a water-cooled F-head, 6-cylinder engine with overhead intake valves and side exhaust valves, 4,257 cc, developing 130 horsepower and coupled to a 4-speed manual transmission. It has a top speed of 100 miles per hour. The present owner purchased the car in the mid-1970s and recently had it re-restored.
Mark VI Sport Saloon
Coachwork: Pininfarina
This is a 1949 Bentley Mark VI Drophead Coupe with coachwork by Pinin Farina. It is believed that Pinin Farina and Facel-Metallon created 17 of these cars. Nine are believed to have been prototypes.

Frenchman Jean Daninos owned Facel-Metallon, which, among their talents, was a company that produced special bodies for major car companies. The chief designer and stylish was Jean Daninos. Their list of clients included marque's such as Simca and Ford.

Daninos commissioned Pinin Farina to create a fastback, two-door, saloon atop a Bentley Mark VI chassis The prototype carried chassis number #B323CD. Once the prototype was completed, it was put into series production by the Facel-Metallon company.
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2007
Sport Coupe
Coachwork: Vanvooren
Bentley's postwar production started with the Mark IV, the production line pushing out a new, luxury 4-door sedan and some rolling chassis for independent coachbuilders. Vanvooren was a Parisian coachbuilder, founded in 1918, which had had a strong relationship with Rolls-Royce prewar, resulting in many examples of their coachwork on Rolls-Royce chassis.

Bentley used an F-head, six-cylinder engine of 4257cc (in 1949) and four-speed all synchromesh transmission - on right hand drive cars the gear lever was to the right, on left hand drive, that is American and Continental European market cars, it was four-on-the-tree. These were, and are, strong, handsome and useful cars.

This beautifully restored, very rare, left-hand drive 4-speed column shift two door coupe. This car wears a one-of-a-kind body by Vanvooren of Paris. The restoration on this car today would cost over $300,000. It was sold new by the authorized Rolls-Royce dealer in Paris, Franco Britannic to Ortis Linarcs on April of 1949. After coming to the United States it was restored in 2000 for Eugene Sorbo of Massachusetts. It was then sold to Charles Crail before being acquired by its current owner in 2008.

Vanvooren, founded in 1918, had a strong relationship with Rolls-Royce in the 1930s, resulting in many Vanvooren bodies built on Rolls-Royce chassis.
H.J. Mulliner Saloon
Coachwork: Mulliner
This 1949 Bentley Sedanca de Ville has coachwork by Gurney Nutting. Most Bentleys of this era featured coachwork by H.J. Mulliner.

The car is powered by a water-cooled, F-head, 6-cylinder, overhead intake valves and side exhaust valves, 4257cc (4.25 Liter) engine, developing 130 horsepower. It is fitted with a four-speed manual transmission and the 4,070 lb vehicle is capable of 100 mph.
H.J. Mulliner Sport Saloon
Coachwork: Mulliner
Chassis Num: B357LEW
Engine Num: B428E
Sold for $66,000 at 2009 RM Sothebys.
The Bentley Mark VI was introduced in 1946 and was the first post War Bentley of Rolls-Royce design. The first owner of the Mark VI took delivery of the car in September 1946. Power was from a new F-head engine featuring overhead intake and side mounted exhaust valves. The six-cylinder unit featured an aluminum alloy cylinder head and offered about 150 horsepower.

The Mark VI was the fist Bentley with standard factory-designed bodywork built by the Pressed Steel Company of Oxford with ex-Gurney Nutting Chief Designer John Blatchley applying the detailing. Custom coachwork remained as an option.

In total, there were 4,949 Mark VIs produced through 1952.

This example is a left-hand drive and was first ordered through Jack Barclay, Ltd. and shipped to the United States via the SS Queen Mary about January 20, 1952. The original owner was Sir Duncan Orr-Lewis, a British nobleman, who used the Hotel Plaza New York City as the registered address at the time. The odometer currently reads 52,541 kilometers, is finished in blue with black fenders and red pin-striping.

In 2009, this car was offered for sale at the Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey presented by RM Auctions where it was estimated to sell for $30,000 - $50,000 and offered without reserve. The lot was sold for the sum of $66,000, including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2009
H.J. Mulliner Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Mulliner
Chassis Num: B87EW
Engine Num: B293E
Sold for $104,500 at 2011 Gooding & Company.
H.J. Mulliner & Company was tasked with building 12 drop head coupes for the Mark VI chassis. The designs that followed were elegant, hand-built, and featured graceful Art Deco forms and details.

This example is one of those 12 dropheads produced and one of just five that feature the concealed-head design, internally designated 7121. It was originally ordered through John Croall & Sons for Eva S. Borthwick-Norton. The car was ordered with the family's preferred color, deep maroon, with grey upholstery and walnut woodwork. It was outfitted with ashtrays, Lucas mirrors, double-thickness floor mats, sun visors, a radio, and a suitcase.

This car, the last of the 12 built, was sold to Mrs. A.D. Harcourt Woods of Oxford in 1953. Several years later, it became the property of Bolton politician A.L. Tillotson. In the early 1960s, it came to the United States and into the car of its current owner, a California resident. During the 1980s and 1990s, the car was given a restoration and later, a mechanical refurbishment.

In 2011, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was estimated to sell for $75,000 - $100,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $104,500 including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2011
Park Ward Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Park Ward & Co.
This Bentley was hand-built by the Park Ward Company of Willesden, England, for Mr. and Mrs. Robert deGraff and was the only Park Ward dual-side mount left-hand post war Bentley ever produced. It was delivered on June 16th of 1949 in Holland and the deGraffs toured with it for several months in Europe and then shipped it to their home in the United States. The interior is finished in scarlet red hides and has a metallic gray exterior. Mechanically it starts right-up at the touch of the starter button and the famous in-line six run whisper quiet. The transmission is actuated through a column mounted four-speed that shifts smoothly in all gears and has synchromesh on second through fourth gears.
Sedanca Coupe
Coachwork: Hooper
Chassis Num: B175CD
Sold for $126,500 at 2015 Gooding & Company.
This Bentley MK VI was ordered by Iraq's Prince Regent 'Abd al-Ilah. It was given Sedanca Coupe coachwork by Hooper & Co. The chassis had been intended for a Swiss doctor, but was redistributed for the prince regent's order. The work was completed in 1949 and then shipped to him in Baghdad. It returned to Hooper in September of 1950 and first registered in Britain during February 1951. It was acquired by Lawrence W. (later to become Sir Lawrence) Robson in 1958 and then later passed on to his son, from whom Ron Rezek acquired it in 2011. A mechanical recommissioning and cosmetic restoration followed. The original engine bay, upholstery, and interior wood was left untouched.

Power is from a 4257 cc F-Head inline 6-cylinder engine fitted with Twin SU carburetors and delivering 130 horsepower. There is a 4-speed manual gearbox and 4-wheel Servo-Assisted drum brakes.
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
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