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Lot 408: Bentley MkVI 4�-Litre Saloon

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

In a very short time, however, it was easily seen that the pressed steel Bentley bodies were as elegantly proportioned, as highly finished and as comfortably furnished as anything the traditional coachbuilders of the past had done; with the added virtues of immunity from rot and greater rigidity.' - Anthony Bird & Ian Hallows, 'The Rolls-Royce Motor Car', 1964. 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. The decision to offer a complete car with 'in house' bodywork had been dictated by harsh economic reality. 'Export or die' was the watchword of the late 1940s and the manufacture of standardised steel-bodied cars was deemed essential to selling in sufficient quantities to overseas markets. Despite the misgivings of traditionalists, exports rose steadily and, when the home market stabilised, the classically styled 'standard steel' bodywork proved equally acceptable, making up 80% of total production of this first post-war Bentley. This right-hand drive 'standard steel' MkVI was purchased by the current vendor in 1989 and possesses only limited history. A total of 42,389 miles is displayed on the odometer and the vehicle is described as in generally fair condition, although the bodywork needs attention. Handsomely finished in Midnight Blue over Dove Grey with blue leather interior, 'B81FU' is offered with owner's manual, current MoT and Swansea V5 registration document.

Lot Details
Auction Rolls-Royce, Bentley Motor Cars and Automobilia
Bonhams, Rockingham Castle, Northamptonshire
TypeCar
Lot Number408
Estimate£15000-£20000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£10000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£11500
Year1949
Condition rating0
Registration numberKOF 430
Mileage-
Chassis numberB81FU
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors