Bentley Mk VI - Complete Classics Series 9


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  • ISBN: 9780953045174
  • Author:
  • Publ Date: 2008-01-14
  • Edition:
  • Binding: HardBack
  • Pages: 0
  • Imprint: UNKNOWN
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  • Country of Publication:
  • ID - 95298


Descended from the Bentley Mk V, production of which had ceased after only a few had been completed due to the outbreak of the second world war, the Mk VI and the 40/50 Silver Ghost, are arguably, the two most important models built by Rolls-Royce.

The Bentley Mk VI is an important model for many reasons, the major one being that the companyÆs first post WWII product was a complete car û the Bentley and Rolls-Royce works in Manchester, Derby and Cricklewood only having built chassis hitherto, the bespoke coachwork being provided exclusively by outside coachbuilders.

Designed in-house, what we now refer to as the standard steel sports saloon, the contract to build was awarded to Pressed Steel at Cowley in Oxfordshire much to the disappointment of one coachbuilder who had offered an alternative design. The close co-operation between North London based Vanden Plas and the chassis maker, went back to vintage days and continued throughout the 1930s, producing large numbers of tourer, drophead coupe and saloon bodies for ôBentley - The Silent Sports Carö. Also known as the ôRolls-Bentleyö both within the works and by the public at large, they were designed and built at Derby by Rolls-Royce, following their take-over of the ailing Bentley company in 1931.

5,208 of the model were built over a six year period with the first few deliveries being made in the closing months of 1946 and the last in October 1952. No fewer than 4,190 cars left the new Rolls-Royce car production plant at Crewe in Cheshire with the standard steel body; shareholders would have been well pleased with this result as the profit margin on the complete car was far higher than on a chassis alone. Nevertheless, 1,018 customers opted for coachwork by one of the dwindling number of independent coachbuilders and the work of 39 of them graced the Mk VI chassis. Perhaps as a consolation prize, even Vanden Plas were specified as the coachbuilder for 21 Mk VIs - mainly sold by the London dealer, Jack Barclay.

Probably due to the poor quality steel available here immediately after the war, many cars have subsequently been re-bodied as specials, often on shortened chassis. Nearly 400 examples have been recorded to date and illustrations of a few of the more interesting are included in the book.

Like all the books in the Complete Classics series, within CC9, every car is listed with delivery date, engine number, original colour scheme (in the case of the standard steel cars), customer name, country of delivery,details of where the cars are now and information on previously published photographs of the individual cars. The book is profusely illustrated with photographs of just about every design that appeared on the Mk VI chassis, many from the personal collection of Professor Bradford Powers in the United States.



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