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Sold 1952 Bentley Mark VI
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1952 Bentley Mark VI


Specifications


Description

 

BACKGROUND

Prior to the Second World War, Rolls-Royce produced only 'bespoke' cars.

The company provided the chassis, engine and firewall;  the buyer chose the body to be built by the coach builder of choice, several of which produced 'series built' bodies in greater number of the same design, which allowed dealers to keep stock in their showrooms for immediate sale.

Rolls-Royce had always produced a less expensive (relatively speaking) 'Small Horsepower' range: the Twenty vs. 40/50 HP; the 20/25, 25/30 and the Wraith vs. The PI, PII and PIII. In the late pre-war years the company began to develop the MK V, to be introduced at the Olympia Motor Show in 1939.  This never occurred as the Show and chassis production ceased at the outbreak of the war.  Fewer than 20 chassis were built and none were offered to the public.

Rolls-Royce/Bentley turned to the production of the Merlin engine.  However, a few men, led by W.A. Robotham, continued post war planning of the MK V as time allowed. It was this chassis, somewhat similar to the Wraith and the Bentley 4.25 chassis, which was modified and improved as the MK VI chassis.

Pre-war coach built bodies were mostly hand-built of light alloy over wood framing.  The post-war economy precluded this expense. Park Ward, acquired by Rolls-Royce in 1939 (and responsible for many 'series built' bodies' were to build a saloon body, the work of Ivan Evcerndon and Bill Allen, in higher numbers.  As Park Ward was unlikely to meet the demand, the Pressed Steel Company, which stamped panels and assembled bodies for other British automakers, was contracted to produce the bodies.

Bespoke cars were still made available to those who could afford them.  The Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith chassis, based on the Mk VI, and the Bentley MK VI chassis were still provided to an ever-diminishing number of coach builders in the U.K. and the Continent. Rolls-Royce was concerned that a 'mass-produced' car might diminish its brand, therefore the MK VI chassis was first only provided as a Bentley.  They needn't have worried. Reviews and demand were very favorable even though the Standard Steel Saloon was priced at 2595 pounds plus 1000 pound added tax, at a time when the average car in the U.K sold for 600 pounds.

OUR CAR

  • Our car, B168PV, is one of the last MK VIs to be built and is a desirable 'Big Bore Small Boot' car with dual exhausts to increase engine breathing and horsepower, torque and performance.
  • The Bentley Mark VI was the first post-war luxury car from Bentley produced from 1946 to 1952. This fine example of Bentleys popular Mk. VI  is indeed a very beautiful car, that will only appreciate in value. A low mileage example, that has been used sparingly and with care. The interior is just stunning. Picnic occasional tables are fitted to the rears of the front seat and twin fog lamps can be found either side of the main grill assisted by a centrally mounted spot lamp. The early post-war 6 cylinder engine is considered by many to be the most robust, reliable, and easily maintainable engine that Rolls-Royce ever produced.  This lovingly maintained, quiet-running Big Bore Small Boot would be perfect for anyone desiring  Rolls-Royce product ownership. This car has the ‘Bigbore’ 4.5L engine which was fitted to the last of the production Mk 6’s. The 4.5L Mk 6 was therefore only made in limited numbers. Most are 4.0L. The Mk6 went on to become the R-Type. Same chassis and mechanics. Similar looking body. Just a larger boot.

HISTORY

  • This car was delivered new in the UK by HA Fox to a Mr Ridley, a Harley St Surgeon (Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons), on 29th May 1952.
  • It passed through several owners in the U.K before being imported to Florida in the 1970s, where it resided in the care of a single owner, until being purchased by its second US owner in the mid 1990's and in whose ownership has undergone many improvements, including: new interior - Maroon hide and carpets both with gray piping; gray wool head cloth (all consistent with the build sheet).

MECHANICAL & RESTORATION HISTORY

In the mid 90's, in the USA...

  • Car had new 'running boards' and rear body mounts fitted.
  • The rust-free chassis was at the time cleaned and repainted and a stainless steel exhaust was fitted.
  • The brake system was also rebuilt including the master cylinder and wheel cylinders with new soft hoses and brake drums with relined brake shoes. One should note here, acceleration and braking are of the highest order, and the road-holding qualities are such that it is possible to obtain a superlative ride at all speeds. We're saying, almost anyone can build a fast car, but here one has been built which is a truly controllable fast car.
  • The radiator was re-cored and the water pump was rebuilt
  • All Hoses and fan belt were replaced.
  • The tires are Firestone Deluxe Champion Bias Ply; the hubcaps were repainted and re striped.
  • When the radiator was removed, the front wings, roof and trunk were repainted.
  • When the headliner was replaced, the sunroof drip hoses were renewed. No rust was encountered at the time.  The oil filter was converted to a spin-on type but the original canister system is included with the car.

Recently, in New Zealand...

  • Car was  imported to New Zealand in 2023 from The Stable, New Jersey, USA. On entry, this car had NZD14,362.20 spent on repairs and compliance costs (receipts available). This was done under our supervision. It then underwent extensive mechanical work at Bruce Mcilroy in Ashburton NZ to put this car into perfect mechanical order. Modification was done with modern oil seal fitted to the front end of crankshaft to eliminate oil leaks. Various engine gaskets replaced to eliminate oil leaks. Carbs were rebuilt and tuned. Oil pump was replaced.
  • The engine now starts easily. It runs smoothly with no knocks or rattles. The gearbox is silky smooth. NZD58,668.59 were spent (Receipts available with car). Bruce Mcilroy says: This is a very good example. Possibly now the best in NZ with  all the recent work undertaken. He also noted that when he stripped down the engine he found the bores were perfect. No ovality. The bearing shells were good and the crank had no ovality. The valve guides were all good. Bruce Mcilroy fitted new valve shells as a matter of prudence and not necessity. All this suggest that the recorded mileage is genuine and that it’s not been around the clock.
  • Suspension - All four hydraulic shocks were removed and rebuilt with new bushes and seals. The ride is now very good.
  • Brakes - Servo was rebuilt and brakes adjusted. Brakes now good.
  • Steering - Adjusted and now within Bentley parameters
  • Tyres Cross ply tyres replaced with radials. Steering and road holding much improved.
  • Door locks - Two new front door locks with separate keys
  • Horn - The horn push was not operative. This has been fixed.
  • Numerous other small issues corrected such as the placement of the indicators and the fitting of the absent front mid flaps.

INTERIOR

  • Once inside, you're surrounded by only the finest in materials and workmanship - there's nothing shabby or vulgar here, and no corners have been cut. The floor high enough above the transmission and driveshaft to be billiard-table flat is swathed in red Wilton wool carpet, a replacement for the original brown. The massive, stuffed chairs are wrapped in supple leather (off-white when new, and now reupholstered in red). The dashboard, door caps, back-seat picnic trays and other trim are veneered in walnut burl - all perfectly book-matched, of course.
  • The front seats have unusual individual armrests.
  • Woodwork all refurbished to a high standard. Refinished dash switch plates etc.

OUR VERDICT

This car has presence and class. It drives well and is comfortable. It’s not overly large and would make a good car for a wedding business!

Total Acquisition and Restoration Cost for this car exceeds NZD153K, so its here being offered for less than cost price.

The Bentley MK 6 when new was considered to be the best car in the world. Back in 1952 it cost new GBP 4,000. (the equivalent of GBP 93,500 today)  This was a small fortune. It was, at the time, the cost of a good three bedroom home in the home counties...Seems house prices have increased more than cars going by the Bank of England inflation calculator!

When comparing prices we are frequently comparing ourselves to a well maintained original car. It seems that this is what forms the bulk of the marketplace with which we are competing. If one adds to what was spent the cost of the repaint and reupholster, it would seem that the mechanical and cosmetic refurbishment is at least double the market value or more. On the basis of the refurbishment cost to market value, this makes this car a bargain at this price level.

A competitively priced and well-proportioned Bentley.

Will be sold WOF'd and Registered.

TRANSPORT / SHIPPING CAN BE ORGANISED ON THIS VEHICLE ON BUYER'S BEHALF AT BUYERS COST.

WE ARE OPEN WEEKDAYS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

This vehicle has been sold

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DISCLAIMER (Please Read)

NOTIFICATION AS TO NATURE OF GOODS IN TERMS OF THE CONSUMER GUARANTEES ACT 1993

Waimak Classic Cars accepts that the vehicle being sold must be of “acceptable quality” in terms of section 7 of the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 (the Act) having regard to “the nature of the goods”.

Waimak Classic Cars is not aware of any specific defects with the vehicle, however (a) such a vehicle being a classic vehicle may have mechanical breakdowns, electrical failures at inconvenient times and maintenance costs being part of and parcel of ownership of a classic car; (b) reliability is a combination of the particular nature of the classic vehicle, how it is being driven, how it has been maintained, and to a certain extent luck.

The Purchaser acknowledges that the vehicle is being sold as a classic car; that in terms of the Act and the nature of the goods, the vehicle, is an old car that may have faults, unlike a modern motor vehicle.

The Purchaser is encouraged to personally fully inspect the vehicle and/or to have the vehicle inspected, fully assessed and maintained by an experienced classic car mechanic.

The Purchaser acknowledges that they have read and fully understand this notification and the nature of a car which is many years old.

For more information about this vehicle, please contact us Monday to Friday between 9:00am and 6:00pm (New Zealand Standard Time) on +64 (0) 3 310-6485 / +64 (0) 274 990-020. Alternatively, you may email us at info@waimakclassiccars.co.nz anytime.

PLEASE NOTE: Waimak Classic Cars is Not a car yard dealer type of operation. As a result, we do not operate through fixed opening hours and viewing is By Appointment Only.