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Lot 406: Bentley MkVI Saloon

Rolls-Royce, Bentley Motor Cars and Automobilia, Bonhams (19 June 2010)

The policy of rationalisation begun in the late 1930s continued at Rolls-Royce after the war with the introduction of standard bodywork on the MkVI Bentley. Rolls-Royce's first post-WW2 product, the MkVI was introduced in 1946, a year ahead of the Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith. Although mechanically similar to the MkVI, the latter was exclusively a coachbuilt car, the first 'standard steel' Rolls-Royce, the Silver Dawn, not appearing until 1949. A separate chassis was retained, the same basic design being built in three different wheelbase lengths, that of the MkVI (and Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn) measuring 10' exactly. Notable features were independent front suspension and hydraulic front brakes. Powering the range was a new 4,257cc six-cylinder engine featuring 'F head' (inlet-over-exhaust) valve gear that permitted the use of larger valves than the pre-war overhead-valve unit with a consequent improvement in gas flow. As a concession to the marque's sporting pedigree, the Bentley version was equipped with twin SU carburettors, the Rolls making do with a single Stromberg. The MkVI was a 90mph car while its interior was typically well appointed, boasting leather upholstery and walnut dashboard and door cappings, while the right-hand manual gearchange was a characteristically pre-war inheritance. Despite the popularity of the 'standard steel' body, a coachbuilt alternative remained the preferred choice of many customers. Bodied by H J Mulliner, a company Rolls-Royce would later acquire, chassis number 'B254LJ' was delivered in August 1951 via Cockshoot & Co, of Manchester to S Rigg & Co, also of Manchester. This car is one of 307 Bentley MkVIs bodied by H J Mulliner and one of only 125 built to design number '7059/C' in semi-razor edge style, often referred to as 'the best looking coachbuilt MkVI'. Paperwork on file would seem to indicate that the car had only three owners up to 2008, having been in storage since 1974. Re-commissioned for the MoT test earlier this year, 'B254LJ' is described as in generally good condition mechanically, though the body, paintwork and interior would all benefit from refurbishment. Sold strictly as viewed, the car comes with its large tools and a partial kit of small tools; a quantity of old MoT certificates, tax discs, invoices and other paperwork; copies of the original and continuation logbooks; owner's handbook; current road fund licence; MoT to February 2011; and Swansea V5.

Lot Details
Auction Rolls-Royce, Bentley Motor Cars and Automobilia
Bonhams, Rockingham Castle, Northamptonshire
TypeCar
Lot Number406
Estimate£14000-£16000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1951
Condition rating3
Registration number320 XUY
Mileage-
Chassis numberB254LJ
Engine numberB152D
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors4