In the same family ownership for sixty years

1951 Bentley Mk VI Standard Steel Saloon

Make: Bentley
Model: Mk VI Standard Steel Saloon
Year: 1951
Registration Number: HKU 839
Chassis Number: B.127.MB
Engine Number: B263M
Transmission: Manual
Steering: Right Hand Drive
MOT Test Expiry: Exempt
Mileage: 94494
Price: £25000
Road Tax Exempt

Britain in the fifties was shaking itself free of post-war shortages, rationing and general malaise. In Crewe, the Bentley factory was responding to the need for a vehicle which would carry forward the prestige and respect earned by the marque during the late twenties and thirties and would be suitable for those who needed a means of conveyance suited to their raised station in life. As prior to the war, Bentley offered a running chassis, which could be dispatched to one of the great coachbuilding companies of the era, such as James Young, Barkers and so forth, in order that a customer could clothe the vehicle in a bespoke body, usually of aluminium on an ash frame, to his personal specification. However, a Standard Steel body was offered by the factory, which maintained some of the pre-war lines and the essential feeling of well -being, coupled to not a little sportiness.  Mechanically, the well proven straight six engine of 4257cc was coupled to a four speed manual gearbox, with the gear lever situated to the right of the driver’s seat (unless it was left in reverse when parked, in which case the gear stick would often find its way up the driver’s trouser leg - or kilt or skirt!).  A big bore engine of 4566cc was also available and the post war Bentleys were equipped with independent front suspension, which improved handling and comfort. The Mk VI can be driven with some gusto as some classic rally participants have found out en route to Monte Carlo and around the Alps.

This particular 4566cc Mk VI Standard Steel Saloon was originally registered in Bradford. It moved to London, where the father of the current custodian purchased the motor car from his friend, a Harley Street doctor, in 1963. It has been in the same family ownership for sixty years and throughout that time, it has been meticulously maintained and importantly, all maintenance has been fastidiously and continuously documented. The number of invoices and correspondence supplied with this Bentley is astonishing and of course, very unusual.

The previous custodian then was himself a collector of vintage and classic motor cars and also the owner of two motor car companies in London. He had knowledge of and easy access to mechanical engineering, but was careful to document the vast amount of work carried out by the various businesses he enlisted to maintain the motor car, including Rolls-Royce in Crewe. Indeed, the Rolls-Royce Motor Car Division even gave his mechanic a one-day instruction on maintenance in 1969, for the sum of four pounds and four shillings.

Ownership passed to the current custodians, sons of the previous owner, in 2013 and the careful programme of documented and expensive maintenance has continued. From 2013 to 2015, over £10000 was spent with Leiter Motor Company on an engine rebuild and mechanical overhaul. A body restoration was completed in 2018 to 2019 at a cost of £15000. In 2020 and earlier this year at a cost of over £3000 at New Elms, the carburettors were reconditioned, as were the front wheel cylinders and the wiper motor and control unit (with new arms and blades fitted).  The interior is completely original with a nice dashboard; the seats have fawn cloth covers as the leather upholstery is showing signs of wear.

A huge amount of money and time has been lavished on the Mk VI since the 1960s. It was loved and much enjoyed and for the current owners, it has been a hard decision to part with the Bentley as they have many happy memories of the family car.

The vast history supplied with the motor car includes the original service handbook, MOT test certificates from 1967 to 1998, a handwritten log of work carried out from the eighties and possibly earlier, the aforementioned vast quantity of invoices from the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s, interesting correspondence from the sixties to date (including to Rolls-Royce), invoices and receipts from the current ownership, DVLA correspondence, BDC and RREC club information, a Bibliography of Bentley Motor Cars, the original RF60 registration book plus an RF60 continuation book, a V5 document and the V5C registration certificate.

FOR SALE - £25000