1949 Bentley Mark VSOLD

1949 Bentley Mark VI Estate Car

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To be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sotheby’s Arizona event, January 28-29, 2016.Estimate:
$160,000 - $190,000 US

132 bhp, 4,257 cc F-head inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, front wishbone and coil-spring suspension, rigid rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf-spring suspension, and hydraulic front and mechanical rear servo-assisted drum brakes. Wheelbase: 120 in.

Offered from the Craig McCaw Collection
One of two Rippon-bodied Estate Cars on Mark VI chassis
Formerly of the Henry Petronis Collection
Ideal for hunting parties or the summer place

In the tradition of the beautifully handcrafted shooting brakes produced for the hunting expeditions of landed gentry, the renowned English coachbuilders Rippon Brothers of Huddersfield continued producing luxury wood-bodied vehicles on Rolls-Royce and Bentley chassis until well into the 1950s. Among their creations were two built on the Bentley Mark VI chassis, among them this car, chassis number B91FU, delivered in May 1950 to Captain George H. Ackroyd, of the West Yorkshire carpet manufacturers T.F. Firth & Sons. The Rolls-Royce chassis cards for the car, copies of which are on file, note that the chassis was purchased by Rippon on behalf of Captain Ackroyd and was therefore a completely bespoke acquisition built to the captain’s order. A single side-mount was an unusual “throwback” Classic Era feature, while the sunroof was a rare feature on any “woodie.”

In 1961, the car was purchased by R.H. Acheson Crow of Bristol, the last owner with whom the Rolls-Royce factory noted it. By the late 1980s, it had made its way to the United States in the ownership of Michael Clark, a Rolls-Royce Owners Club member. It was sold by Mr. Clark to well-known West Coast enthusiast Warren French and was then subsequently acquired by the renowned collector Henry Petronis of Easton, Maryland. While part of this august stable, it was cosmetically refinished by D.L. George Coachworks of Cochranville, Pennsylvania, well-known vintage Bentley specialists, with the woodwork restored by Easton resident Steve Hopkins, renowned for his work in wooden boat restoration!

Mr. Petronis retained his bespoke Mark VI until 2010, when he sold it, along with the majority of his outstanding collection. Several years later, it was acquired by Mr. McCaw for his own renowned collection, in which it has been well maintained to a high standard, in typical fashion.

A recent inspection noted that the car retains its original engine, number B295F. Also accompanying the car is a collection of documentation, including the aforementioned chassis card copies and other related correspondence over the years, as well as an original owner’s handbook for the model, which is stored on a shelf under the dash, opposite a hidden tool tray under the passenger side of the dash. While the paintwork is older and heavily patinated, the wood remains nicely varnished, presentable, and utterly authentic in appearance, and the interior is comfortably worn-in English leather, with excellent burled walnut trim. The car shows 70,977 miles, with its driver-quality engine bay revealing two small accessory grease guns and a trouble light.

A charming estate vehicle, then and now, this Mark VI ranks among the rarest of coachbuilt beauties on this chassis. It would be a unique and fascinating addition to any fleet of Bentleys—or to the carriage house of one’s country home.

To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/.

Reference Number 395791

as of 2/13/2016

Car 1949 Bentley Mark V
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