1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Sports Saloon  Chassis no. B44MD Engine no. B22M

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Lot 611
1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Sports Saloon
Registration no. MGY 561 Chassis no. B44MD Engine no. B22M

Sold for £ 26,450 (US$ 32,982) inc. premium
1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Sports Saloon
Coachwork by Freestone & Webb

Registration no. MGY 561
Chassis no. B44MD
Engine no. B22M

Footnotes

  • The policy of rationalisation begun in the late 1930s continued at Rolls-Royce after the war with the introduction of standard bodywork. In a break from the coachbuilt tradition this was made of pressed steel panels welded together. The new ‘standard steel’ body was available at first only on the MkVI Bentley, though customers could still opt for a coachbuilt alternative, such as the car offered here. A separate chassis was retained, the same basic design being built in three different wheelbase lengths, that of the MkVI (and Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn) measuring 10’ exactly. Notable features were independent front suspension and hydraulic front brakes. Powering the range was a new 4,257cc six-cylinder engine featuring inlet-over-exhaust valve gear and breathing through a Stromberg carburettor (Rolls-Royce) or twin SUs (Bentley).
    The Autocar magazine was highly impressed with their MkVI test car in the Spring of 1950. ‘Perhaps the outstanding thought from extensive driving of the Bentley MkVI built by the world’s premier car manufacturers, Rolls-Royce, is that it has no single predominant feature but gains its unique position from a combination of superbly matched qualities that raise it above the level of other cars. Years of painstaking research and development with mechanical perfection as the goal show their results unmistakably. Smoothness and quietness and sheer quality are in the superlative.’ Despite the popularity of the ‘standard steel’ body, a coachbuilt alternative remained the preferred choice of many customers. Indeed, anyone desiring a soft-top Rolls-Royce or Bentley had no alternative but to commission one from an independent coachbuilder, there being no factory-built alternative at this time.
    One of the early 4½-litre models, the MkVI offered here is fitted with four-door sports saloon coachwork by Freestone & Webb of North London, one of the finest of all British coachbuilders and a firm associated with quality marques from its earliest days, particularly Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Mercedes-Benz. Chassis number ‘B44MD’ was delivered new to Sir Robert Spencer-Nairn, Bt, in due course passing to his executors and thence to its third owner, the proprietor of a museum in Chester. Unrestored, this car remains wonderfully original, particularly its interior which features picnic tables with mirrors, original over-rugs to the rear, and a fully operable rear window blind controlled from the front compartment. Original large and small tools are present also. Recently serviced, the Bentley has covered a believed-genuine 140,000 miles only from new and is presented in generally very good/excellent condition. A coachbuilt MkVI of some distinction, it is offered with its original logbook, current road fund licence, MoT to April 2009 and Swansea V5 document. Flashing indicators are the only notified deviation from factory specification.
1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Sports Saloon  Chassis no. B44MD Engine no. B22M
1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Sports Saloon  Chassis no. B44MD Engine no. B22M
1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Sports Saloon  Chassis no. B44MD Engine no. B22M
1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Sports Saloon  Chassis no. B44MD Engine no. B22M
1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Sports Saloon  Chassis no. B44MD Engine no. B22M
1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Sports Saloon  Chassis no. B44MD Engine no. B22M
1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Sports Saloon  Chassis no. B44MD Engine no. B22M
1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Sports Saloon  Chassis no. B44MD Engine no. B22M
1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Sports Saloon  Chassis no. B44MD Engine no. B22M
1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Sports Saloon  Chassis no. B44MD Engine no. B22M
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