CC9 Bentley Mk VI

Descended from the Bentley Mk V, production of which had ceased after only a few had been completed due to the outbreak of the second world war, the Mk VI and the 40/50 Silver Ghost, are arguably, the two most important models built by Rolls-Royce.

The Bentley Mk VI is an important model for many reasons, the major one being that the company’s first post WWII product was a complete car – the Bentley and Rolls-Royce works in Manchester, Derby and Cricklewood only having built chassis hitherto, the bespoke coachwork being provided exclusively by outside coachbuilders.

Designed in-house, what we now refer to as the standard steel sports saloon, the contract to build was awarded to Pressed Steel at Cowley in Oxfordshire much to the disappointment of one coachbuilder who had offered an alternative design. The close co-operation between North London based Vanden Plas and the chassis maker, went back to vintage days and continued throughout the 1930s, producing large numbers of tourer, drophead coupe and saloon bodies for “Bentley – The Silent Sports Car”. Also known as the “Rolls-Bentley” both within the works and by the public at large, they were designed and built at Derby by Rolls-Royce, following their take-over of the ailing Bentley company in 1931.

5,208 of the model were built over a six year period with the first few deliveries being made in the closing months of 1946 and the last in October 1952. No fewer than 4,190 cars left the new Rolls-Royce car production plant at Crewe in Cheshire with the standard steel body; shareholders would have been well pleased with this result as the profit margin on the complete car was far higher than on a chassis alone. Nevertheless, 1,018 customers opted for coachwork by one of the dwindling number of independent coachbuilders and the work of 39 of them graced the Mk VI chassis. Perhaps as a consolation prize, even Vanden Plas were specified as the coachbuilder for 21 Mk VIs – mainly sold by the London dealer, Jack Barclay.

Probably due to the poor quality steel available here immediately after the war, many cars have subsequently been re-bodied as specials, often on shortened chassis. Nearly 400 examples have been recorded to date and illustrations of a few of the more interesting are included in the book.

Like all the books in the Complete Classics series, within CC9, every car is listed with delivery date, engine number, original colour scheme (in the case of the standard steel cars), customer name, country of delivery, details of where the cars are now and information on previously published photographs of the individual cars. The book is profusely illustrated with photographs of just about every design that appeared on the Mk VI chassis, many from the personal collection of Professor Bradford Powers in the United States.

Published January 2008. Price: £34.95 plus p&p

CC9, Updated 270219, new/amended reg’n/chassis cross-index

Reg’n Model Remarks
001 1BDM Illustrated SoE/26, BLR/62: 1951 standard steel saloon
002 9KGC Illustrated BS1/253: special built by J. Philip Evans on a Syd Lawrence converted chassis/Robert Ford made body; to AUS ‘87
003 52CZI Special advised by Ray Roberts
004 66GXH Illustrated TCFC/41: Franay drophead coupé; sold by Frank Dale 1970s
005 117YNY Standard steel saloon; offered on eBay in USA
006 173PMB No further information
007 369DEL Early standard steel saloon; later owned by John A. Murch but sold via Rob Pollock Garage, Downton, Hampshire ca1982 probably to Scandinavia
008 407CJB Noted GBR.66/R. J. Moore, Hampton, Middx (BDC ’66 but no longer member ’70)
009 520JGC Standard steel saloon, noted on the road by Stuart King, Queen Street, London ‘77
010 577HWR Re-bodied tourer outside the Birley Arms public house, Warton, Lancashire; photograph in the R-REC collection
011 600KYJ Reported worn by a Mallalieu special when sold GBR ‘96
012 633EXK Standard steel saloon; photographed London street May ’64; Andy Hurfurt photograph collection
013 713XUX 1949 standard steel saloon; offered by dealer Ivor Bleaney Oct ’10; chassis number is B—2EY
014 719MUY Standard steel saloon; black/shell grey; pictures on internet
015 732UXU Standard steel saloon; noted Twickenham May ’11; chassis number is B—4CF
016 741HYY Standard steel saloon, Tudor/shell greys; Frank Dale stock; photograph R-REC collection
017 795TKX Noted GBR.63 when owned by R. G. Wormald, Darlington, Co. Durham (BDC member but subsequently not listed in Wormald’s ownership)
018 872HRY In USA
019 890ANV Standard steel saloon; illustrated Sch/233
020 909YBF Standard steel saloon, noted on the road by Stuart King, Congleton, Cheshire ‘97
021 1317PP Noted GBR 1976 when owned by R. H. Drayton, Cookham, Berks. (BDC ’76 but no longer member ’82)
022 2485PL Standard steel saloon painted silver; appeared in GBR TV series “Danger Man” in episode “The Professionals” aired May ’65; Scott-Moncrieff sales list; R-R grille
023 5799D 1951 standard steel saloon; offered eBay Carmel CA Oct ‘04
024 6681PK Standard steel saloon, noted on the road by Stuart King, Old Street, London ‘83
025 A562ALA GBR 1987 when owned by Grenville-Mathers (BDC ’87 but not listed to him 1991-94)
026 AHA1J Reg’n reported worn by a Mallalieu special
027 AHS311 Standard steel saloon; two-tone colour scheme; two photographs in the R-REC collection
028 AJK573? 1949 standard steel saloon; possibly reg’d AKJ573; in USA.74
029 AJN569A Reg’n later reported on a Bentley S3 Continental 1995 – James Young saloon coachwork
030 ALA562A Special reported owned by Grenville-Mathers in GBR ’85; thought to be an error – see ALA461A – B384CF and ALA642A = B290MD
031 BJL600 Mk VI owned by Kenneth Mitchell of Sheffield solicitor Irwin, Mitchell at some time
032 BLC44B Standard steel saloon; British Army Occupation of the Rhine reg’n; illustrated B152/28
033 BSV966 Noted at BDC Concours Hatfield House ‘93; 2. Overton 2-seat special designated type SR.5
034 CEA333 Reported to have been illustrated in un-named car magazine
035 CJD660 Reg’n reportedly worn by a Halse special on a Mk VI chassis – refer BS2/671, picture B268/128
036 CON600 Reported to have been worn by a Bentley Mk VI In GBR
037 DEA535 1948 standard steel saloon; reported in GBR ‘74; possibly refers to DEA536 = B74CF
038 FBC181 Issued Leicester Dec ’47 to Jun ’48; standard steel saloon appeared in the Fairey Rotodyne brochure showing the revolutionary transport’s cargo carrying capability
039 FPV144 Noted GBR.60
040 GAW515 Some parts of this unknown Mk VI held by Mike Papworth in Coventry
041 GBY789 John Bird special; HH King of Morocco; Roberts book; poss actually GBY343/B184BH
042 GG65 Standard steel saloon painted ivory; offered on eBay in USA; possibly a corruption of GGB5=B332DA
043 GRS942 Noted GBR ’63 when with G. R. Sandwith, Bracknell, Berks. (BDC member ’63); personal reg’n on his S1Cont BC19GN by ’66
044 GSV409 1949 standard steel saloon; GBR.92/Fleming
045 HBO864 Owned by Captain Kelley May ’52 to May ’53; see R-Type chassis number B461SP
046 HC4 Noted GBR ‘59 when owned by W. H. Cooper, Hagley, Worcs. (BDC ’59 – reg’n transferred to his Bentley S1 B222DB by ’63)
047 HF63 1949 standard steel saloon; in GBR but no further information
048 HKA836 Liverpool CBC reg’n allocated Jul ’46 so presumably transferred from another vehicle; reported owned by M. P. Thomas of Liverpool ’70 (BDC ’70 but no longer member ’76)
049 IM1846 Noted IRE.82/Morrissy; Kilmatead Restorations special; see BS1/299
050 JB1 James Young design C10BM photographed London’s Belgrave Square wearing Jack Barclay’s personal registration shown Benn1/64
051 JDB495 No further information but reg’n has also appeared on Bentley S1 B138AN in ’63 when owned by C. E. Owen, Heald Green, Cheshire
052 JFS200 No further information
053 JHY276 1946 standard steel saloon; a car with this reg’n received a second standard steel saloon body moved ex a “GT” series chassis
054 JLK495 1948 standard steel saloon; owned by Philip D. Proctor, West Hagley at one stage
055 JLN44 Reg’n listed but possibly actually refers to JLN54 = B299BG owned GBR.81/Wardell, GBR.09/Stimpson
056 JML29 Noted GBR ’49 when owned by W. David Porter, Bishops Frome, Worcs. (BDC member ’50 but not listed for Porter ’55); reg’n later on Derby Bentleys B82GA/B171LE
057 JT45 Apparently a standard steel saloon with probably unique two wing mounted spare wheels; photograph appeared in GBR newspaper Daily Telegraph showing a London traffic warden issuing a parking ticket to the Bentley
058 JVR705 No further information
059 JYU608 Noted BDC membership listing ’76 when owned by Peter J. Agg, Betchworth, Surrey; possibly a handwriting misread and actually refers to Radford Countryman MkI reg’d JYV608 = B204CF
060 JYV915 Reported GBR ’94 but possibly actually refers to JYV945 = B120DA
061 KFW888 Noted GBR ’79 when owned by Sutherland
062 KLT236 1950 standard steel saloon; in GBR; possibly refers to KLT234 which was B17GT
063 KLU683? Noted in GBR
064 KUC713 1949 standard steel saloon; reported in GBR; possibly an error for KUC731 which is B368EY
065 KUD474 Standard steel saloon owned by Burns/GBR and in storage for 40 years; advised by Steve Plimmer Nov ‘09
066 LFG828 No further information
067 LFX666G Picture BDR126/325, BS1/236: GBR.70-87/Shoosmith, GBR.89-97/Palmer; turbocharged special; chassis B/HR02; eng BSD302; sold Cheffins auction 13th Oct ’02; owner now Peter Kingston
068 LGC5 Freestone & Webb 4d6l saloon appears early 1950 Swain Group brochure; probably B45EW
069 LHL1 No further information when this reg’n was on a Mk VI; listed GBR.97/Hind as Bentley S3 Continental chassis BC6XD
070 LMR230? 1949 standard steel saloon; possibly refers to LMR320 reported in GBR ‘74
071 LXY698 Illustrated TCFC/56: 1951 Radford “Countryman”
072 MAN547 1952 standard steel saloon; Carter auction 21st May ’79; note, this Isle of Man registration was also used on Graber drophead coupé chassis B190MD
073 MC2 Illustrated BDR207/23; standard steel saloon
074 MLG228 1949 standard steel saloon; noted GBR 1976 owned by M. R. B. Way, Warrington, Lancs. (BDC member ’76 but not listed for Way 1982-97)
075 MLR897 1951 standard steel saloon; in GBR; possibly refers to MLP987 which is B217MB
076 MMC12 Build date said to be 1976!; noted GBR.92/Burnett
077 MPE412 Owned by E. C. Cochrane of Beckenham, Kent Dec ’69 when work carried out by James Young
078 MYX666 1952 standard steel saloon; noted GBR.92/Broad
079 NCG4T Attended R-REC event when possibly owned by F. Connor
080 NGB4 Reg’n reportedly worn by a Halse special on a Mk VI chassis – refer BS2/671
081 “NTU173” Bentley Motors trials car; dark colour; probably in the “LH” series; perhaps put on purely for photo shoot as reg’n actually fitted to Silver Wraith 42EX/LWME30; photograph at Hunt House
082 NWP224 1949 standard steel saloon finished in black with tan upholstery; offered by Robbins Gar. Sep ‘79
083 NYF567 Noted GBR.69; possibly refers to R-Type NYF576 = B119SP, owned GBR.66/Taylor
084 OAU956 Park Ward design 99 drophead coupé; Scott-Moncrieff sales list
085 OFF638 Gurney Nutting fixed head coupé (Blue Train style); images on Racing Green website
086 OZ1918 Offered by John Croall & Sons, “The Autocar” 8th May 1953/77
087 PAS820 Special with vintage Bentley style replica tourer body; builder at Beaulieu Sep ’03; reg’n now reported on a Morgan 3-wheeler Jul ‘18
088 PTN217 Standard steel saloon; photograph at R-REC
089 QJ4402 Illustrated in colour TCFC/31+; Park Ward drophead coupé des 65 –finished in maroon with tan hood
090 SCU615 1949 standard steel saloon; noted GBR ’92 when owned by Powell
091 SFF120 Barons Auction advertisement Jun ‘02
092 SSV717 Black/gold car attended air display Woodchurch, Kent Jul ’04; chassis is known to be B??6PV
093 TGF164 Standard steel saloon painted black/maroon, re-reg’d as London reg’n Jul ’56, car possibly now in SAF
094 ULH95 Halse special, mentioned BS1/251
095 UZ2778 Special, built ’60, advised by Ray Roberts; car advertised Classic Cars Nov ’89 by owner Stephen Wheeler
096 VB9415 Park Ward drophead coupé des 100; see BDR228/179 ref personal reg’n of later owner, Maj. A. E. de Vere Barker of Connies Ltd; a theatrical agent who represented actor Ralph Richardson
097 WJJ96 No further information; but also see WTJ96 – possibly the same car
098 WPD538 No further information
099 WSJ211 Noted by the author on wedding duty Dunstable, Bedfordshire Jul ‘04
100 WTJ96 1950 standard steel saloon; Scott-Moncrieff sales list Mar ’66; also see WJJ96 above which could be the same car
101 WUL525? No further information
102 WVS742 Standard steel saloon, attended R-REC Annual Concours d’Elegance Towcester Jun ‘00
103 XFK514 1952 standard steel saloon; 1959 Worcestershire reg’n; photograph in BDC collection
104 XYJ481 Noted in GBR ‘94; no further information
105 YXC115K Standard steel saloon; offered eBay USA ‘00
106 ZV712 Noted in IRE ‘95; no further information
107 ZV36813 1952 H. J. Mulliner “Lightweight” saloon des 7243 finished in maroon; operated by Cassidy Chauffeurs, Dublin for wedding hire