Monterey | Lot 180
1950 Bentley MK VI Sports Saloon
$31,900 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
26 August 2011
(Est.) 132 bhp, 4,257 cc inline six-cylinder F-head engine, dual SU carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with wishbones and coil springs, rigid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and hydraulic front, servo-assisted mechanical rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 120"
- An original LHD, US-delivery example; sold new to William Durant Campbell
- Recently refinished; interior upholstery and brightwork selectively restored
Debuting in 1946, the Mark VI was the first postwar Bentley automobile of Rolls-Royce design and represented a complete break from the past, as it was designed and built as a complete car with standardized pressed-steel coachwork. The Pressed Steel Company of Oxford built the bodies, which were reminiscent of the Park Ward-bodied Mark V of the late 1930s, while ex-Gurney Nutting Chief Designer John Blatchley applied the detail features.
The Mark VI was trimmed and painted to a standard rivaling the finest custom coachbuilders of the era. The 4.3-liter (4,257 cc) F-head inline six-cylinder engine was similar to the B60-Series engine of the war years, yet much simpler, and utilized a one-piece cylinder block casting with an integral crankcase, as well as a fan belt-driven generator and water pump. Combined with a four-speed gearbox and independent front suspension, the Mark VI could approach 100 mph.
This particular 1951 Mark VI is an original left-hand drive example that was delivered new by New York’s J.S. Inskip to William Durant Campbell, the noted philanthropist and grandson of General Motors founder William C. “Billy” Durant. Original options included sealed-beam headlamps and bonnet locks. The Mark VI passed through three owners before the current owner-collector acquired it in 2007.
Since then, the car was refinished in black, and much of the tan upholstery has been restored, including that of the front seats, most of the rear seat and the arm rests. In addition, the brightwork has been selectively restored as required. The current owner reports that the Mark VI remains in fine running condition. A recent inspection confirms good panel fit and a tidy engine bay with only minor surface rust. The interior displays a lovely patina but no major stains or tears. Overall, the car is in lovely condition and ideally suited for driving and continued enjoyment.