1946→1952 Bentley Mark VI
In 1946 Bentley introduced their Mark IV as an updated version of Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith and it was Bentley’s first post-war offering. It was a landmark car for Bentley as it was offered with an all-steel Sports Saloon bodywork which was standard on the model.
With a Standard Steel Sports Saloon body, the Mark IV was the first Bentley finished from the factory. These bodies were made by Pressed Steel Ltd of Coventry to be fitted and trimmed at the Bentley factory.
The Mark VI used the Silver Wraith’s chassis and engine, but it was fitted with a new high-performance cylinder head. Later Mark IVs used 4566 cc and 4887 cc versions of this engine.
Bentley continued the tradition of offering their model in chassis form for outside coachbuilders and the Mark IV was the last car to be offered in this way.
The most flamboyant coachbuild Mark IV came from Franay in France. The first Franay Cabriolet was ordered by industrialieur Gudol on chassis B25071. At the 1947 Paris Auto Show,st Monsi the dramatic design reasserted France’s dominance of the coachbuilding art.
Facel-Métallon also produced a group of special Mark VIs known as the Cresta models. These were produced to a Pinin Farina design and built to a very high standard from aluminum from 1948 to 1950.
See full 1946 Bentley Mark VI Gallery here
|type||Series Production Car|
|production years||1946 – 1952|
|built at||Crewe, England|
|fuel feed||Twin SU Carburettors|
|displacement||4257 cc / 259.8 in³|
|bore||88.9 mm / 3.5 in|
|stroke||114.3 mm / 4.5 in|
|front tires||6.50 x 16|
|rear tires||6.50 x 16|
|f suspension||Independent w/Coil Springs|
|r suspension||Live Axle w/Semi-Elliptic Leaf Springs|
|curb weight||2352 kg / 5186 lbs|
|wheelbase||3048 mm / 120.0 in|
|length||4877 mm / 192.0 in|
|width||1778 mm / 70.0 in|
|height||1638 mm / 64.5 in|
|top speed||~160.90 kph / 100 mph|
|0 – 60 mph||~15.0 seconds|
Auction Sales History
1949 Bentley Mk VI Sedanca Coupe B175CD – sold for $126,500 Ordered by Iraq’s Prince Regent ’Abd al-Ilah, who was visiting London’s Hooper & Co. in 1948. From the Ron Rezek Collection. Thought to Have Traveled only 13,000 Miles from New. Restored in 2011 with the original engine bay, upholstery, and interior wood left untouched.
Auction Source: The Pebble Beach Auctions 2015 by Gooding and Company
1947 Bentley Mk VI Graber Cabriolet B139BH – sold for €169,050 Since acquisition, the Bentley has been driven only by Dr Gentinetta and his wife, Lotti, but has not been used for the last five years. Routine servicing was carried out by Garage de l’Athénée initially and subsequently by Siegrist in Berne. Finished in grey with oiginal red leather interior, this rare coachbuilt Bentley MkVI soft-top is offered with copy chassis card, factory correspondence and Swiss Carte Grise.
Auction Source: 2013 Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
1950 Jaguar Mark V 3 1/2 Litre Drop Head Coupe 647008 – did not sell for $88,000 Dispatched for Hornburg Jaguar in Los Angeles on February 1st, this car was sold new by International Motors of Hollywood, California, to renowned actor Robert Mitchum. The luxurious and imposing Mark V was certainly an appropriate choice for the budding Hollywood star whose numerous roles in noir films had already earned him a bad-boy reputation. According to an older Mark V registry, by 1981 this car belonged to Lt. Colonel John P. Kelly, wh… read more
Auction Source: The Amelia Island Auction 2012 by Gooding & Company
1951 Bentley Mk VI berline – sold for €35,145
The car on offer was sold new on 28 April 1951 through the intermediary l’Athénée, a garage in Geneva, to Colonel Richard de Blonay, military attaché in Switzerland. The factory dossier confirms that it had certain export specifications, such as a odometer in km/h and non-UK lights. It has a radio, and the mounting for the rear registration plate is made to Swiss dimensions. On 11 July 1960 it passed into the hands of a certain M. Chommel de Varregnes, and was bought by the present owner on 18 October 1962, who is therefore the third owner. On 2 February 1978, it benefitted from a major overhaul at Franco-Britannique, when the front axle and brakes were overhauled, the engine was tuned and other work was undertaken to restore the car to top condition. At that time the car had covered 135,571 km, which suggests that the current odometer reading of 136,298 km is correct. The car is fitted with white wall tyres, sunroof and both its original and a more recent car radio. To improve driving safety, indicators have been added. The beige leather interior and carpets protected with overmats are in good original condition, as is the woodwork which displays just minor cracking. The space reserved for the spare wheel houses the original jack and tools. Mechanically the car appears to be in sound condition, but the engine doesn’t turn and so requires recommissioning. It is rare to find a Bentley Mk VI that has changed so little from the day it left the factory.
Auction Source: 2012 Artcurial Motorcars à Rétromobile
1947 Bentley Mark VI Franay Cabriolet B25071 – sold for $2,750,000 Universally recognized as the most successful and expensive post war Bentley/Rolls-Royce automobile of all time, with the Concours and auction record to prove it. With over 50 show wins and honors. From the Ron Pratte collection.
Auction Source: 2012 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction
1947 Bentley Mk VI Graber Drophead Coupé B136BH – sold for $117,000
This elegant Bentley is the 3rd Drophead Coupé produced by the Swiss Carrosserie Graber on the MkVI chassis and may well have been only the 2nd to this particular design. It is thought that only 10-or-so were produced over a four-year period, seven of which are believed to survive. Graber’s designs were always executed to the very highest standards and his creations were necessarily expensive, costing far more than those of his British contemporaries.
The car was built in 1947 for a Doctor Robert Kaffeli and supplied by Bellvue Garage, of Berne, Switzerland, the Rolls-Royce agents. It is understood originally to have been red but at some time in the 1980s was subject to a full restoration and repainted in dark blue a scheme that contrasts well with the chrome and suits the car. Unusually for a Bentley, the dashboard is metal and painted in the body color, which Graber preferred to the traditional wooden dash. Presently air conditioning is fitted, which some previous owners have felt may well have been ordered when it was originally supplied, regardless of this it is an extremely useful accessory in modern driving/use. Once restored, it was featured in Germany’s Motor Klassik magazine (1990) and also in Rolls-Royce and Bentley by Klaus-Josef Rossfeldt (page 137).
Auction Source: 2011 Quail Lodge Sale by Bonhams
1949 Bentley Mark VI H.J. Mulliner Drop Head Coupe B87EW – sold for $104,500
At some time in the early 1960s, the Bentley made its way to California where it came into the care of its current owner. Over the past three decades, this coachbuilt Bentley has resided in Southern California and has been a great source of pride for its owner.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, a good deal of restoration work was undertaken, and a number of prominent Southern California Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialists have since serviced and maintained the car as needed. Although shown and driven regularly in the past, in recent years the Mark VI has seen little use and would benefit from sympathetic mechanical refurbishment.
Auction Source: 2011 Scottsdale Auction by Gooding & Company
1951 Bentley Mark VI Park Ward Drophead Coupe – sold for $192,500 Formerly in the collection of Bernie Ecclestone. One of only 12 Bentleys sold in the U.S. in 1951.
Auction Source: RM Auctions’ 2010 Sports & Classics of Monterey
1950 Bentley Mk VI Radford Countryman B441DZ – sold for $71,500
While the Bentley Mk VI introduced “standard” bodywork to the marque, the celebrated British custom coachbuilders were not discouraged from creating their own body designs for the new chassis. In fact, some of the most unique and distinctive bodies came from Harold Radford, who introduced the Mk VI-based Countryman in 1948, with wooden body panels and special equipment for the country gentleman. It caused a sensation and won numerous awards, including at the Cannes Concours d’Elegance. Rolls-Royce was equally impressed, immediately recognizing Harold Radford Coachbuilding Ltd. as an approved coachbuilder.
It is widely believed that Radford built eight examples of the Countryman in 1949, with all being right-hand drive and crafted with unique fittings and styling, according to each client’s wishes. An older restoration, this particular example has been meticulously maintained over the years and remains quite remarkable today. Prior to acquisition by the current owner in 2005, all wood was refinished, highlighting the fine, carefully matched wood grains. Unlike many other coachbuilders’ designs, Radford placed and shaped the wood touches to enhance the lines of the Bentley’s metal coachwork, causing the wood and metal to flow naturally together in a pleasing and harmonious manner. The lustrous silver paintwork is the perfect complement to the striking woodwork, while the opulent interior leatherwork remains supple and unblemished.
This Mk VI Countryman is also equipped with an AM/FM radio and a sunroof. A previous description recounts its former ownership by Jean Charles Moriniere, the internationally acclaimed French interior designer. With its wooden coachwork and Bentley luxury, this Countryman is not only a rarely seen and unique twist on English coachwork but was perfectly suited to the tastes of the landed gentry.
Auction Source: 2010 Vintage Cars of Meadow Book by RM Auctions
1948 Bentley Mark VI Saloon – did not sell for €22,400 This Mark VI was purchased by Mr. Zach out of Australia before receiving selective restoration work. The car was stripped down to bare metal and refinished in an attractive shade of blue, and the tan leather upholstery was redone as well. The chrome had been redone in the car’s previous ownership and still presents very nicely. Various special features include rear tray tables, a radio and the standard Mark VI centre-mounted driving light.
Auction Source: 2010 RM Auctions Sporting Classics of Monaco
1951 Bentley Mark VI Hooper B-213-LH – sold for $24,570
This right-hand drive 1951 Bentley Mk VI left the Bentley works and was delivered to Hooper’s Park Royal, London workshops. At Hooper, it was fitted with body number 9688 4d61 an ‘Empress-Style’ sedan to design number 8294. It was the 5th of 14 similar bodies mounted on the Mk VI chassis. Later, another 39 examples of the style were fitted to the subsequent R-Type.
Finished in dark grey with brown leather interior, this attractive MK VI Bentley is in original and unrestored condition.
Auction Source: 2006 Monterey Preview