Lot 400: Bentley T-Series Convertible
Rolls-Royce's final coachbuilt models - based on the Silver Shadow and Bentley T-Series – were entrusted to the company's in-house coachbuilder H J Mulliner, Park Ward and limited to only two: a two-door coupé or similar convertible, the former arriving in March 1966 and the latter in September the following year. The cars were hand built in the best traditions of British coachbuilding using only materials of the finest quality, including Wilton carpeting, Connolly hide and burr walnut veneers, a necessarily lengthy process that took all of 20 weeks for the saloon and slightly longer for the more complex convertible. This painstaking attention to detail resulted in a price some 50% higher than the standard four-door saloon. Nevertheless, demand for these more glamorous alternatives was strong right from the start, a state of affairs that resulted in them being given their own model name - 'Corniche'- in March 1971. For much of the time that the Silver Shadow was in production, a Bentley was regarded as little more than a slightly cheaper alternative to a Rolls-Royce. This famous marque had yet to re-establish its reputation as maker of some of the world's fastest and most exciting sports saloons and Grand Tourers, a process that commenced in 1982 with launch of the Mulsanne Turbo. Consequently, the Bentley Convertible was produced in much smaller numbers than its Rolls-Royce equivalent, despite being – arguably – the more handsome of the two. Up to 1971, when the Corniche name was adopted, only 41 had been sold compared to 504 of the Rolls-Royce version! Chassis number 'DBH 7124' was purchased new in December 1969 by the British businessman and Conservative peer, Lord Jeffrey Sterling, Baron Sterling of Plaistow, West Sussex. Noteworthy features include an engine converted to unleaded compatibility and a Harvey Bailey handling kit. The Bentley took part in HM the Queen's Silver and Golden Jubilee Parades in 1977 and 2002 respectively and has attended several royal weddings. Since acquisition by the current vendor the car has been maintained mainly by JLC Ltd and Harwoods of Pulborough and comes with all service invoices from March 2005 to November 2010. In addition there are three expired MoTs on file for the period 2010-2013, showing no increase in the 18,893 recorded mileage total. Finished in Sherwood Green with beige hide interior, this rare Bentley soft-top is offered with the aforementioned service history and copies of the current road fund licence and Swansea V5. It should be noted that the current registration is being retained by the vendor.
The Beaulieu Sale|
Bonhams, Hampshire, UK
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£48300|
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