1968 Bentley Bentley T-Series Two-Door Saloon Coachwork by H J Mulliner, Park Ward Ltd Registration no. RRX 4F Chassis no. CBH3734
Rolls-Royce's adoption of unitary construction for its new Silver Shadow and T-Series Bentley necessitated the reorganisation of in-house coachbuilder H J Mulliner, Park Ward to meet the challenge of producing new designs on the Shadow floorpan. The variety of body styles offered was limited to just two - a two-door saloon or similar drophead coupé - the former arriving in March 1966 and the latter in September the following year. Some of the frontal panels were shared with the standard four-door saloon, but otherwise the new bodyshells were unique, featuring a distinctive dipping upper wing line with parallel crease, and revised, more rounded posterior. Despite a price some 50% greater than the standard saloon's, demand was strong right from the start, a state of affairs that resulted in the introduction of the outwardly similar Corniche in 1971. At this time, the Bentley marque's image suffered from its not being sufficiently differentiated from that of Rolls-Royce, a situation that would not be remedied until the introduction of the Mulsanne Turbo in the 1980s. The result was greatly reduced sales, making a Bentley of this period a much rarer car than the equivalent Rolls-Royce. For example: between 1967 and 1971, 571 Mulliner, Park Ward-bodied Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow two-door saloons were manufactured compared to a mere 98 of the Bentley version! Today, however, the revival of the Bentley marque has seen a commensurate upsurge in demand for these rare and exclusive T-Series models.
Much rarer and arguably far more handsome than the Rolls-Royce version, this beautiful Bentley T-series two-door saloon has had only two private owners from new: the first for 20 years and the second for 27 years. The Bentley underwent a bare metal re-spray and engine re-commissioning in the late 1980s, and more recently has benefited from further improvements including paintwork and re-commissioning at JD Classics in 2018 (bills on file). It is finished in Black Cherry with red-piped black leather interior trim, and currently displays a total of 96,649 miles on the odometer. The accompanying history file contains many invoices for ongoing maintenance undertaken while the Bentley was with its previous owner, and the car also comes with an original handbook, a V5C document, and current MoT.