1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Coupé  Chassis no. B287NY Engine no. B393N
Lot 223
1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Coupé
Registration no. XSU 359 Chassis no. B287NY Engine no. B393N
£ 70,000 - 90,000
US$ 98,000 - 130,000

Lot Details
1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Coupé  Chassis no. B287NY Engine no. B393N 1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Coupé  Chassis no. B287NY Engine no. B393N 1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Coupé  Chassis no. B287NY Engine no. B393N 1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Coupé  Chassis no. B287NY Engine no. B393N 1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Coupé  Chassis no. B287NY Engine no. B393N
1952 Bentley MkVI 4½-Litre Coupé
Coachwork by Hooper & Co

Registration no. XSU 359
Chassis no. B287NY
Engine no. B393N


  • '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.' – The Autocar.
    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. In a break from the coachbuilt tradition this was made of pressed steel panels welded together. Rolls-Royce's 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. 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 included 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 decision to offer a complete car with 'in house' bodywork had been dictated by harsh economic reality. 'Export or die' was the catch phrase 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. Nevertheless, some 20% of customers opted for a coachbuilt alternative, such as the car offered here. 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 prettiest bespoke offerings on the Bentley chassis was Hooper & Co's 'razor edge' two-door coupé, designed by the firm's managing director, Osmond Rivers. Only seven of these cars were built, 'B287NY' being the last. It is believed that only three survive, this being the only one in the United Kingdom. Having had only a handful of owners, 'B281NY' spent part of its life the USA where it was owned by the Mayor of Treasure Island City, Florida, Mr Walter Stubbs. After returning to the UK at the end of the 1980s, the car was offered for sale by marque specialists, P & A Wood. The current vendor bought the Bentley at this time and subsequently had it treated to a complete 'body off' restoration, commenced by Alpine Eagle in 2005, which included the engine, gearbox, drive train, bodywork, interior trim and paintwork. Finished in 2007, 'B287NY' was shown for the first time in many years at the R-REC Annual Rally where it placed second in the concours, beaten only by a very pretty R-Type Continental. Since returning to the UK the car has covered fewer than 1,500 miles, most of which have been since restoration.
    'B2B7NY' is regularly serviced and maintained regardless of cost by Alpine Eagle and is described by the vendor as in excellent condition, driving superbly and effortlessly, ready to go touring. Offered for sale at a fraction of the cost of restoration, 'B287NY' comes complete with a comprehensive tool kit, including large and small tools, an original handbook, radiator mascot and 'town cap'. Accompanying documentation includes sundry restoration invoices, old-style logbook, current MoT/tax and Swansea V5.

Saleroom notices

  • The old-style logbook is not present on file.
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations


If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Like the vast majority of auctioneers Bonhams charge what is known as a Buyer's Premium. Buyer's Premium on all Automobilia lots will adhere to Bonhams group policy:

25% up to £50,000 of hammer price,
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 of hammer price,
and 12% on the balance thereafter. This applies to each lot purchased and is subject to VAT.

For Motor Cars and Motorcycles a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £50,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £50,000. VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Some lots may be subject to VAT on the Hammer Price. These lots will be clearly marked with the relevant symbol printed beside the lot number in the catalogue.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, cheque with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveller's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

  1. Rob Hubbard
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 5805
    FaxFax: + 44 20 7468 5802
Similar Items