Arizona | Lot 221
1948 Bentley Mark VI 'New Look' Two-Door Saloon by James Young
The Calumet Collection
$224,000 USD | Sold
| Phoenix, Arizona
18 January 2019
- Offered from the Calumet Collection
- James Young’s 1948 Earls Court Motor Show car
- The first of just three streamlined ‘New Look’ two-door saloons built
- Original chassis, engine, and body
- Accompanied by a report from Bentley historian Diane Brandon
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
World War II and its various preliminary conflicts, beginning in the mid-1930s, disrupted European automobile production for nearly a full decade. When the skies and land finally calmed in 1946, cars had been out of production so long that exactly what the new ones would look like was up in the air; stylists and coachbuilders were willing to try basically any new idea and submitted various designs for public approval.
James Young offered up the ‘New Look,’ an aptly named striking, ultra-streamlined saloon on the Bentley Mark VI chassis, with fully integrated fenders, covered rear wheels, and little excess chrome trim. Only three two-door examples of the design, no. C10M, were produced.
The car offered here, chassis no. B495CD, was exhibited on James Young’s stand at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show. It caused a considerable sensation and was featured in many of the motoring magazines of the time. After the show it was delivered to Ronald Strauss, of the British brokerage house Strauss, Turnbull & Company.
In 1955, the car was purchased by the famous racing driver and dealer, Duncan Hamilton, who sold it to Thomas Wittle & Sons, a well-known manufacturer of fan belts in Warrington. Much of the present restoration was completed in 1985, reportedly at a cost of £36,000, after which it was used for a couple of years. Following many years on display it has been extensively freshened by the Calumet Collection, with the interior wood polished and other extensive detailing and mechanical work performed.
Fabulous details are prominent throughout, including front wing windows operated by small turn handles, as well as exquisitely finished rear quarter windows that swivel open for ventilation. The ‘sunshine roof’ is present and functional, as-original, but now operates manually rather than by an electric motor. The door pockets accommodate sets of period beverage glasses and a flask. Wonderful original touches include the Lucas driving light, Bentley B70 headlamps (original to the car), unusually low-mounted trafficators, and incredibly delicate, beautifully finished bumper guards. Full, correct sets of road and hand tools are of course provided, along with other documentation and a written report from noted historian Diane Brandon.
The ‘New Look’ marks the most audacious post-war styling from James Young – the birth of a new era in streamlined design, courtesy of one of the UK’s greatest coachbuilders.