1928 Bentley 6 1/2 LitreStandard Six Saloon
- Year of manufacture1928
- Mileage21 679 mi / 34 889 km
- Car typeOther
- Exterior brand colourBlue
- Exterior colourBlue
- Fuel typePetrol
This particular 6.5-Litre, registration number 'UE 6835'', is one of 242 erected on the long ST3 (12' 6') chassis intended for formal coachwork and favoured by the majority of customers. This particular chassis was laid down in 1927 and bought by the Bird family of Bird's Custard fame, who sent it to Gurney Nutting for bodying. Gurney Nutting bodied 101 6.5-Litre chassis, of which seven survive: 'FA2504', the car offered here; a second Standard Six Weymann saloon on chassis 'FA2507'; and five Speed Sixes, one of them a four-door Weymann saloon.
Standard Six saloons are now extremely rare; indeed, there are only six known survivors: two by HJ Mulliner, two by Gurney Nutting, one by Barker, and one by Freestone & Webb. As Bentley authority Dr Clare Hay remarks in her customarily thorough report (copy on file), far more Standard Sixes were fitted with such coachwork new than with open sports bodies. The style is fairly formal, a four-door four-light with a bench front seat and a dropping division, with occasional seats to the division to seat up to seven. The finish was originally fabric throughout, with the bonnet fabric covered.
'UE 6835' is a remarkable survivor, and in 2005 was featured in Nick Walker's book, Coachwork on Vintage Bentleys. The Bentley remained in the Bird family's ownership until just after WW2 when it was sold to the Reverend Noakes, a Master of Foxhounds in the West Country.
After the last entry in the Service Record in February 1939 there is a gap in the records until 1963, when 'UE 6835' was owned by LW Peachey. The next owner listed in the logbook is Christopher Patrick O'Driscoll Lumley in May 1964, followed by the present owner from March 1966. The first available photograph of 'UE 6835' was taken at the BDC Kensington Gardens concours in June 1966. It is unclear how much work has been carried out over the
years, though the body had been panelled up to the waistline before 1966. This is not unknown as a repair method to cover damaged fabric.
By this time, large formal saloons and limousines had plummeted in popularity, and many had been laid up during the war and fallen into disrepair.
Indeed, in Glass's Guide, crossed hammers were shown against the 6.5-Litre and 8-Litre limousines meaning they were considered suitable only for demolition! What demand there was came from enthusiasts wanting to build Speed Six look-alikes.
By some quirk of fate, 'UE 6835' managed to avoid destruction, so when the current owner acquired the Bentley in March 1966 he set about having it carefully restored to original specification, the only 'modern' update being discretely fitted flashing indicators. Indeed, so original is this extraordinary car that it even retains the correct Smiths 5-jet carburettor, Auto Vac, and Barker headlight dipping mechanism; if not unique after some 53 years with but one owner it is certainly very unusual. Other noteworthy features include fitted cocktail cabinets, a Brexton trunk, and a (working) speedometer and clock in the internal division, enabling the rear passengers to see the car's speed.
During this period the car travelled to the owner's home in the South of France; participated in Brooklands driving tests; BDC Silverstone race meetings; and took many brides to church, family weddings etc.
In 1960s, 'UE 6835' had the misfortune of being involved in a slight accident, the outside front chassis member and wing being damaged. P&A Wood were commissioned to repair the car. There was no damage to the radiator or even the numberplate, but it was felt wise to repair the chassis member correctly, necessitating removal of the body together with all major components. While this was undertaken, a full rewire was carried out together with any other work deemed necessary. Interestingly, the condition of the car was such that the insurers required no contribution for improvements.
Always serviced and maintained by renowned Bentley specialist Tony Fabien, 'UE 6835' is featured on the front cover and extensively within the aforementioned Coachwork on Vintage Bentleys. Highly unusual in retaining its original body, this outstanding 6.5-Litre is the perfect way to celebrate Bentley's 100th Anniversary in 2019 and is certain to be a talking point among the hoards of Vanden Plas-style Speed Six and Team Car replicas.