1948 Bentley MkVI 4¼-Litre Saloon Registration no. JGB 666 (see text) Chassis no. JGB 666 (see text) Engine no. B-288-C
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-Royces 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. Believed a low mileage example, this early, right-hand drive standard steel MkVI has recently been re-imported from Texas, USA where it has enjoyed a dry climate since 1971. Previously in long-term storage, the car requires re-commissioning/restoration and accordingly is sold strictly as viewed. We are advised by the vendor that the engine seems serviceable, the gearbox good and the rear axle quiet. The interior retains it original radio and woodwork, the latter in good condition, while the sunroof is reported as fully operational. Brightwork and wheel trims are described as generally good and the whitewall tyres are new. Offered with MoT to September 2009, the car was originally UK registered JGB 666 although it should be noted that there are no registration documents with it. No reserve.