1947/48 Bentley Mark VI
Lot 243
The ex-Earls Court Motor Show,1947 Bentley MkVI 4¼-Litre Sedanca Coupé Chassis no. B287BG Engine no. B343B
Sold for £55,200 (US$ 92,781) inc. premium
Lot Details
The ex-Earls Court Motor Show
1947 Bentley MkVI 4¼-Litre Sedanca Coupé
Coachwork by Gurney Nutting

Chassis no. B287BG
Engine no. B343B


  • 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.
    The 1947 Bentley MkVI offered here is fitted with sedanca coupé (faux cabriolet) coachwork by J Gurney Nutting, a company associated with the Bentley marque from its earliest days and a supreme practitioner of the coachbuilding craft. Founded in Croydon, Surrey in 1919, Gurney Nutting had bodied its first Bentley before moving to London's fashionable Chelsea district in 1924, and within a few years was established as the Cricklewood firm's foremost supplier of bodies after Vanden Plas.
    This fruitful association continued into the 'Derby Bentley' era of the 1930s, Gurney Nutting's most famous designs of this period being the limited series of fabulous 'sedanca coupés' commissioned by the London-based Bentley and Rolls-Royce agents, H R Owen Ltd. Immediately after WW2 Gurney Nutting was acquired by the Jack Barclay Group, joining rivals James Young, and the car offered here dates from that period. It is believed to be one of only four completed to this design.
    Chassis number 'B287BG' was delivered on 1st November 1947 but not delivered until December '48, by which time it had already been exhibited at that year's Earls Court Motor Show. Accompanying copy chassis cards record that the Bentley was retailed via the Cairo Motor Co in Egypt's capital and first owned by His Excellency The Honourable Abdel Hamid Bey Shawarby Sharid Willcocks. The only additional owner listed is one M R Toriel, Esq of Alexandria, who acquired the car in January 1951.
    The Bentley's subsequent history is not known prior to its acquisition by the current vendor in the early 1990s. Restored circa 1994 and offered from long-term storage, 'B287BG' will require re-commissioning before returning to the road and thus is sold strictly as viewed.

Saleroom notices

  • The paperwork, keys, and mascot are not on file for this car, therefore the car is sold strictly as viewed.
  1. Rob Hubbard
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    101 New Bond Street
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    United Kingdom
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