As the dark period of WWII drew to a close, auto manufacturers rushed to get back to normal production in order to meet the needs of the tired masses for civilian transportation. For Bentley the solution to speed was to produce a car that borrowed heavily in both styling and mechanicals from its prewar counterpart, the MK V. This model would be known, logically, as the MKIV under the Bentley moniker and later on in 1949 the Silver Dawn under the Rolls-Royce name. The MK VI was a very important car for a number of reasons. It was Bentley’s first post-war luxury offering but the standard sedan version was also their first offering finished in all-steel coachwork as well as the first car to be built entirely in house, including the body, which up until the outbreak of war they had entirely farmed out. Power came from a 4.3-liter F-head straight-six engine, which was upgraded to a 4.6 liter in 1951. Power numbers were never officially released by Bentley, but in typical English form, it was said by the manufacturer to be “adequate”. Transmission options were scant, with a 4-seed synchromesh manual gearbox being the only option available for all MK VI cars. Although the standard in-house body was the steel saloon, other options included a 2-door saloon and a 2-door dropped coupe, both of which were made by Pressed Steel Ltd and then sent to the new Bentley factory at Crewe where they were finished. Bare chassis were still offered for the adventurous or more refined buyer and were finished by firms such as Graber, Figoni and Falaschi, and even Franay. In 1952 Bentley and Roll-Royce modified the standard steel bodies with a drastically larger trunk area and the resulting Bentley was now titled the Bentley R type. The R type would maintain production through 1955 before it was replaced by the heavily restyled S1.
The example on offer here, chassis number B107LMB and engine number B335M, is a 1951 Bentley MK VI Saloon. It is extremely rare in that is a left-hand drive example, of which not many were produced. This MK VI is currently finished in what is believed to be the original colors of a delightful Blue over Light Tan leather interior. It is an older restoration that has held up well and displays some excellent patina throughout the car. According to photos provided with the car, the restoration was carried out on the car in 1982. The car was taken down to bare metal and given a full respray, interior, as well as a mechanical rebuild. The car was owned by a gentleman in Virginia throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s when it was sold to the current owner who lives in the Washington, DC area. Under the current owner’s custodianship, the car has been maintained well, driven under favorable conditions, and stored properly. Most recently the car was looked over by a Bentley dealership where the carbs were rebuilt and the fuel system was serviced. As it sits today, this car is ready to be enjoyed on a sunny day leisurely drive or conversely would make an excellent candidate for a full and thorough restoration. This particular example is very special in that it is one of very few produced in a left-hand-drive configuration.
Included with the sale of this car are the factory tools, jack, and spare as well as available service documentation and restoration photos.
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The exterior blue paint provides an elegant and stately finish to the car. The paint itself retains good color and consistent finish but does show some signs of aging and as such there are various imperfections throughout the exterior of the car. There are small stone chips in high wear areas such as the front of the car and the top of the bonnet has some imperfections in the paint that appear to be from heat or sun damage. In the rear of the car, there is some cracking in the paint behind the rear bumper and a larger chip in the paint that has been touched up located on the boot lid. There is some light swirling in the paint as well as leftover buffing compound from a previous detail in some areas. Overall the car could benefit from a thorough detail which would help to bring the overall appearance to a much higher standard. The body itself is straight and clean with consistent and respectable gaps all around.
Glass And Trim
The chrome work throughout the car retains good shine but shows heavy scratching and some pitting. The headlight and taillight lenses are free of cracking or fogging and appear to function as they should. The rubber trim round the windows is old and cracking but appears to still be structurally sound. The windows retain their triplex branding and aside from some light scratching in high wear areas they remain in good overall condition. The license plate illumination light is missing but it should be an easy item to source and replace.
The wheel covers show some minor pitting in the chrome as well as a few dents, dings and scuffs.
The exterior of the car is an older restoration that remains in good driver quality. Therefore, it does show minor signs of aging. For a better idea of the flaws on the exterior of the car, please refer to the detailed exterior photos above.
Seats And Surfaces
The interior of the car appears to be an older restoration as well and retains delightful and inviting patina throughout. The door cards have some discoloration on them as well as some minor cracking of the leather. The seats throughout the car show some minor discoloration and creasing but remain structurally sound with a nice fit to the leather. The carpets retain good color and fitment but do show signs of wear and discoloration in high traffic areas. Wood trim throughout the cabin retains excellent color and smooth clean finish. The headliner shows some minor staining but fits well and shows no sagging.
Functionality And Accessories
The doors open and close with good fitment, and the windows roll up and down with ease. The interior overhead lamp illuminates with the opening of the door. The steering wheel is in good condition, although it does show a bit of patina in the form of light scratching etc. The gauges are all clean and legible and appear to read their functions as they should. The column-mounted shifter retains its printed shift pattern and moves through the range of motion as it should. Switches and knobs appear to be in excellent mechanical and cosmetic condition.
The interior of the car appears to have been redone some time ago and remains in good driver quality with healthy patina scattered throughout. Due to the nature of the interior, there are various minor imperfections and for the best overall idea of condition, please refer to the detailed interior photos above.
ENGINE BAY AND TRUNK
The condition of the engine bay falls in line with the rest of the car, showing signs of age but no major issues. There is some surface corrosion on the fire wall as well as on some of the painted components in the engine bay. All components appear to be in place and in good functioning order although typical engine bay grime and grease are present.
The rear trunk lid opens and closes with ease and retains nice consistent blue paint. The Black carpeting retains good fitment, color, and weave. There is some chipping in the paint around the edges of the trunk area, consistent with wear found around the rest of the car. The wooden trunk floor is in good solid condition.
The underside of the car is very reminiscent of the engine bay, showing signs of proper and normal usage but no signs of damage or disrepair. There is some minor surface corrosion on metal, and the normal surface coatings of old oil and drippings but overall nothing looks out of place or technically unsound.
The straight-six engine fires to life with ease and settles into a smooth, consistent and quiet idle once up to temperature. The engine makes good power and move the car down the road with no issues.
The column shifted transmission moves between and engages gears just as it should. It shifts smoothly and holds power with ease. The clutch feels light and responsive with decent feedback.
Brakes And Suspension
The brakes work to bring the car to a smooth stop but do feel soft and may need some adjustment in order to provide more enhanced stopping power. The suspension feels adequate, the car rides smoothly and no odd noises or road manners were experienced.
This MK VI wears Denman Super Safety white wall tires on all four corners. All have ample treadle left in them but the date of manufacture is unknown.
The MK VI Bentley is a very special car in the sense that it was a fairly big step forward for the company. With steel bodies being made in house for the sedan version, it allowed Bentley to consolidate efforts and maximize profits, helping to solidify their name for the future. This particular Bentley MK VI is finished in lovely colors and wears a bit of charming patina throughout. It starts right up and runs well. The interior also contains some excellent and inviting patina. Both the drivable nature of this car and the rare fact that it is a left-hand drive model make this car the perfect example to drive and enjoy on nice sunny days or also an excellent for a full and thorough restoration.
- Exterior Colour Blue
- Interior Colour Light Tan leather
- Drive LHD
- Chassis Number # B107LMB