1947 Bentley Mark VI Convertible Coachwork by Park Ward Registration no. 368 XUJ Chassis no. B282CF Engine no. B141C
The policy of rationalisation begun in the late 1930s continued at Rolls-Royce after the war with the introduction of standard bodywork on the Mark VI Bentley. Rolls-Royce's first post-WW2 product, the Mark VI was introduced in 1946, a year ahead of the Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith. Although mechanically similar to the Mark VI, the latter was exclusively a coachbuilt car, the first 'standard steel' Rolls-Royce, the Silver Dawn, not appearing until 1949. A separate chassis was retained, the same basic design being built in three different wheelbase lengths, that of the Mark VI (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 'F head' (inlet-over-exhaust) valve gear that permitted the use of larger valves than the pre-war overhead-valve unit with a consequent improvement in gas flow. As a concession to the marque's sporting pedigree, the Bentley version was equipped with twin SU carburettors, the Rolls making do with a single Stromberg. The Mark VI was a 90mph car while its interior was typically well appointed, boasting leather upholstery and walnut dashboard and door cappings, while the right-hand manual gear change was a characteristically pre-war inheritance.
Despite the popularity of the 'standard steel' body, a coachbuilt alternative remained the preferred choice of many customers. Indeed, of one's preference was for an open car it was the only option, there being no factory-built convertible in either the Rolls-Royce or Bentley range at this time.
A rare and desirable right-hand drive example dating from July 1947, chassis number 'B282CF' carries drophead coupé coachwork by Rolls-Royce's in-house coachbuilder Park Ward featuring a rare early power-operated hood. Only 45 examples of this body were made, making this Bentley particularly uncommon.
The car had an interesting early history, having been delivered new to the British Ambassador to Egypt. It is finished in a subtle shade of Burgundy with magnolia leather interior trim. The specification of 'B282CF' has detail differences from that of most other examples, in that the rear windows are larger and the back seat is set further back, thereby allowing the Ambassador to stand during parades. The roof when folded down has a much flatter profile than usual, and the car has a side-mounted spare wheel with metal cover.
A comprehensive cosmetic restoration was carried out in the early 1990s, including a complete strip-down to bare metal and repainting in its current livery, which was complemented by a new leather interior, new carpets, refinishing of all wood cappings and the replacement of the hood and hood bag. The car is now beautifully presented and ready for Continental touring. Accompanying documentation consists of sundry restoration invoices and a V5 registration document.