1949 Bentley Mark VI 4.25 Litre Mallalieu Special RoadsterSOLD
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Estimate: £45000 - £55000

Sold: £40,000

Registration Number: UK registered Chassis Number: B99DZ

The launch of the Bentley Mk VI in 1946 marked a significant change in policy for Rolls-Royce by being the company‘s first wholly produced car; previously both Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor cars had been manufactured in chassis form only before being bodied by independent bespoke coachbuilders. This change came about as the result of a rationalisation programme instigated before World War Two, it being realised that if Rolls-Royce Motors was to survive in the post-war years a substantial increase in manufacturing output would be necessary.

Announced in May 1946, the Mk VI featured a strong channel section chassis with independent wishbone/coil spring front suspension allied to a live, leaf-sprung rear axle. Drum brakes were fitted all round, together with Rolls-Royce‘s mechanically-driven servo assistance, the front units for the first time on a Bentley being hydraulically operated. Power was provided by the pre-war B60 4,257cc six cylinder engine - with overhead inlet and side exhaust valves and belt rather than gear-driven dynamo and water pump, both major changes from previous Rolls-Royce practice - sufficient to propel the Bentley, via twin SU carburettors, to 90mph. Of note incidentally, is that the prototype tests of the Mk VI were carried out during the 1939-45 hostilities, some conducted by cabinet ministers and military officers.

Chassis B99D2 was first registered in 1949 and converted from a standard Mk VI saloon in 1978 by Derry Mallalieu, a celebrated Bentley specialist well known for creating new special-bodied tourers out of standard Mk VI chassis and running gear. Since then, the car has spent a period of ten years in California and been toured extensively throughout America and Europe. Notably, this Bentley is pictured on pages 260-261 of Ray Roberts‘ book Bentley Specials & Special Bentleys.

Finished in blue with a blue leather interior piped in red, the car comes complete with hood and tonneau cover, dust cover, the original Mk VI handbook, MoT certificate valid until October 2009 and a V5 registration document. Also included in the history file are old tax discs and a number of invoices including bills from Jack Barclay and renowned Bentley specialist Hofmann‘s totalling £4,700 for work carried out in the last two years.

The car has been built to a very high standard and has been thoroughly thought out. An example of this attention to detail is that on all Mk. VI Bentley‘s the handbrake and gear lever are mounted to the right of the drivers knee and foul entry to the car and provide and unsporting drive. This car however has had the gear lever re-engineered and is sited in the ‘normal‘ position in the centre of the car between the drivers and passengers legs and the handbrake is found in the conventional position between the front seats.

The car drives exceptionally well with the steering being light and direct. Handling and overall performance are drastically improved and the 4.2 litre engine is very responsive helped by the reduced weight over the standard Mk. VI. This very attractive Special is an ideal tourer with generous luggage space behind the seats. This is a very special chance to acquire one of these rare and highly desirable Mallalieu-bodied specials. Not to be missed!

Reference Number 34072

as of 11/19/2008

Car 1949 Bentley Mark VI 4.25 Litre Mallalieu Special Roadster
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