London

8 September 2014

Previous Next

Lot 144

1948 Bentley Mark VI Three-Position Drophead Coupé by James Young

  • Chassis no. B267DZ
  • Engine no. B383D

£175,000 - £225,000


132 bhp, 4,257 cc inline F-head six-cylinder engine with twin 1¾-in. SU carburettors, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with hydraulic shock dampers, semi-elliptic rear springs with controlled shock absorbers, and hydraulic front and mechanical rear servo-assisted drum brakes. Wheelbase: 3,048 mm

  • Wonderful and elegant James Young custom coachwork
  • A well-known example with known ownership history
  • Original chassis, engine, gearbox, and coachwork
  • Freshly restored
  • Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club chassis cards and documentation


The Bentley Mark VI was introduced in 1946 as the first post-war Bentley of Rolls-Royce design. Rolls-Royce survived the war in somewhat good health, as it produced aero engines for the Royal Air Force, along with other engines for military vehicles. The first Bentley Mark VI was delivered to its owner in September 1946, which was just 16 months after VE Day. It was powered by a new 4.3-litre, F-head, six-cylinder engine that featured overhead intake, side-mounted exhaust valves, and an aluminium-alloy cylinder head.

The Mark VI was also the first Bentley with standard factory-designed bodywork built by the Pressed Steel Company, of Oxford, with ex-Gurney Nutting Chief Designer John Blatchley applying the refined detailing. The bodies were fitted to the chassis and trimmed and painted to a standard that rivalled the best coachbuilders. Custom coachwork, like that on this car, remained available at the buyer’s discretion. This was quite a change in philosophy by Bentley’s parent company, yet it reflected the reality that standardised bodies could be built in greater numbers at its new factory in Crewe, England. The Mark VI was both a lovely and stately automobile, and it also boasted a separate chassis that featured coil-spring independent front suspension, which was quite an engineering advance in its day.

Exactly 99, or about two per cent, of the total 5,201 Mark VI chassis were consigned to coachbuilders for special bodies. The car offered here was one of two hundred nine Mark VIs delivered to James Young Coachbuilders, the well-known Bromley, Kent, facility which was known for their exceptional bodywork fittings, especially their elegant door hinges and handles, and for the exquisite trim details on their bodies.

Chassis number B267DZ was ordered in 1948 by H.G. Barlow, Esq., of Allied Leather Industries in London, through prominent London dealer Jack Barclay. The chassis was delivered to James Young late in 1948, and the completed car was accepted by Mr. Barlow, carrying registration number LXD 678, on 3 January 1951.

The car passed through three further English owners before travelling to the U.S. in 1970 and coming into the ownership of Edward A. Adolph, of Florida and Connecticut. This example is well known amongst Bentley cognoscenti, as it was prominently pictured in a colour plate on page 307 of Bernard L. King’s marque reference, Bentley Mk. VI.

This Drophead Coupé has recently undergone a full, show-quality restoration by Black Horse Automotive Services, of Bridgeport, Connecticut. It is finished in a well-chosen glossy black paint, which enhances its charming lines; a correct and multi-position black bonnet; a lush, saddle-tan full leather interior; and gleaming walnut veneers, and the result is a fusion of the best of all worlds: elegance, function, and documentable history. Above all, this car represents an authentic and quite desirable package which all British car enthusiasts recognise, as it is a remarkable example of the venerable Bentley marque.

Addendum

Please note that this Bentley is titled as 1951. Factory records indicate that the chassis was completed on November 25, 1948, though the car wasn't delivered until January 3, 1951.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more