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Type: Used
Year: 1947
Make: Bentley
Body: Top Hat Sports Sedan
Engine Size: 4.25L 6 CYL
Trans: Manual
Mileage: 19709
Stock: 370
Ext Color: Other Color
Int Color: Other Color

West Coast Classics are proud to present an absolutely exceptional and extraordinarily rare coachbuilt aluminum bodied example of this 1947 4.25L 6 cyl Bentley Mark VI sedan with it's original Bentley construction & test records & build sheets. Renown Rolls Royce & Bentley coachbuilders 'Freestone & Webb' built to order and delivered this all aluminum bodied 'Top Hat' Sports Saloon to 'E. Gomme Ltd' of High Wycombe, England on 2/4/1948 after almost two years of coachwork at their 'Freestone & Webb' Willesden, London shop. The car was imported to the U.S as per its 'Schoellkopf' card to Mr Stephen Hall of Glastonbury, CN on 9/29/1970.

Bentleys first post-war model, the Mark VI featured an updated version of the companys pre-war six-cylinder engine, now with a high-lift camshaft and dual SU carburetors for more horsepower. The Silent Sports Car was now available, for the first time, with a factory-built Standard Steel Saloon body, but some buyers still elected to specify custom coachwork by one of the few remaining European firms.

The car offered here was one of a dozen bodied by the coachbuilders 'Freestone & Webb' to their design no. 3038, a beautifully proportioned saloon with curvaceous razor edge lines, in this case with a sliding sunroof and rear fender spats. It was delivered in February 1948 to E. Gomme, Ltd., a prominent British manufacturer of modern furniture. Subsequent owners included Stephan Hall of South Glastonsbury, Connecticut, who registered the car with the Rolls-Royce Owners Club in September 1970. It formerly won several awards in British car club competition.

Today the saloon presents as a tidy and well-sorted driver, the purpose for which it has been enjoyed by the Calumet Collection, wearing an older restoration in two shades of creamy buff with pride. Notably, the interior, swathed in Connolly leather with beautiful rich woodwork, is particularly comfortable and sumptuous. Further, the car is offered with full sets of road and hand tools, as well as its original handbook.

Accompanied by copies of build and ownership documentation, this fabulous early post-war coachbuilt Bentley is sure to provide years of touring pleasure for a new caretaker.

This Mark VI has an all aluminum body designed by 'Freestone & Webb' coachbuilders and bears no resemblance in either build quality or value to the standard factory pressed steel cars. They were outfitted, at great expense, to the specifications of the buyer. This meant that they were often very varied with unique specifications and therefore each creation was a unique design. The brakes are servo mechanical assisted and the driver's window mechanism is a unique special lever that does not roll up or down but whereas the entire window fully opens and closes with just a slight upward or downward movement of a swivel arm.

Freestone & Webb's work on bespoke Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars became known as the 'Top Hat' and popularized the Razor Edge style. Delivering up to 15 cars per annum they showed their cars at the London Motor Show and won the Gold Medal in the private coachbuilders competition nine years in a row! Formed in 1923 by V.E. Freestone from Crossley Motors & A.J. Webb who came from a French firm of coachbuilders, they concentrated on building bodies to private order on the Rolls Royce & Bentley chassis with an output of some 15 cars a year. This car is reportedly only one of 5 DHC by this coachbuilder and on the death of A.J. Webb in 1955 the firm was taken over by H.R. Owen Ltd of Berkeley Square, London, part of the Swain Group.

The Livery for this car was finished in a very 'Pale Yellow', an almost White exterior with a 'Saddle/Tan' reveal with a darker Tan & Red coachline matched to a sumptuous 'Saddle' leather interior. The car has lovely original timber with 'Widow's Peak' door sill design, original R70 Lucas center driving light, the Freestone & Webb 'Top Hat' roof line and classical razor edge design, which was widely copied afterwards by the other Rolls/Bentley coachbuilders. The car has closed rear quarters, painted matching wheel discs with chrome centers and complete hand and road tools and it's original owner's handbook.

'E. Gomme Ltd' was founded by Ebenzer Gomme in 1898 and the family firm pioneered the concept of modern style dining room suits, sideboards, tables and chairs and during WWII built aircraft frames. By 1938 the company employed over 800 people and after the war was one of the largest modern furniture manufacturers in the world. By 1980 Gomme's employed over 2,000 people with several hundreds with at least 25 years of service. Their renown G-Plan range of modern furniture from the 1950's sold direct to the public had become an industry pioneer and was phenomenally successful but by the late 1980's competition from abroad had slowly taken away their market share and in 1989 the company was sold.

In 1946 Bentley introduced the Mark VI which stayed in production until 1952 with just over 5,200 examples built in total. The Mark VI's were large and impressive and marked the first automobile completely constructed by Rolls Royce and signified their desire to move towards a 'Standardized' body construction. Prior to this all Rolls Royce & Bentley's were provided only a rolling chassis to the commissioned coachbuilders. The vehicle was then outfitted under the directions of the individual buyer. This car is one of the very few fitted with a 'Freestone & Webb' coachbuilt body, reportedly one of 12 with very few known to remain, and even fewer in all aluminum.

The car has the legendary Bentley 4257cc (4.25 litre) F-Head inline six cylinder engine with twin SU carburetors and aluminum cylinder head. Power was sent to the rear courtesy of a 4 speed manual gearbox with a single plate clutch and synchromesh on 2,3 and top. Top speed is around 94 mph. Servo assisted drum brakes provided the stopping power and the suspension were independent with coil springs (still wrapped in their original factory leather buckled straps!) One of the very few Bentley Mark VI's sent to the individual Rolls Royce/Bentley coachbuilders such as Freestone & Webb, H.J. Mulliner, James Young, Hooper, Franay & Park Ward.

The car drives extraordinarily well with the very smooth shifting original 4 speed manual transmission matched to the original 4.25L 6 cylinder engine for an extremely strong and responsive drive and with the car driving as straight as an arrow with no strange road wobbles, shakes or rattles, a truly remarkable and daily driver with supremely smooth and easy transmission shifts in all gears! The car has adjustable ride control, Lucas fog lights, sealed beam third headlight, sliding sunroof and a mohair headliner.

The Mark VI was both the first car from the Rolls-Royce factory with all-steel coachwork and the first complete car assembled and finished at their factory for Bentley. These very expensive cars when new were a genuine success and the chassis continued to be supplied to independent coachbuilders as they had been since inception. Like pre-war Bentley's they were large, stately and impressive and featured rear hinged 'suicide' doors at the front with concealed hinges, a sliding sunroof, a permanently closed windscreen with an electric defrosting and demisting unit hidden in the scuttle and a second heater that made use of the coolant and was fitted with an electric fan beneath the left front seat. Twin screen window wipers were fitted and provision was made for the fitting of a radio with a short and flexibly mounted aerial that could be swung up above the center of the screen.

A four-speed syncromesh manual transmission was fitted in all Bentley MK VI's with the change lever to the right of the driver on RHD cars and on the column on LHD versions. The car rode on a massive separate chassis using leaf springs at the rear and featuring independent coil springing at the front, quite an impressive advance for the marque in this period. A control on the steering wheel center adjusts the hardness of the rear springing by hydraulically adjusting the rear dampers. This is achieved via opening a check valve that provides pressure by diverting transmission oil to the dampers. A pedal-operated central lubrication system type 'Bijur-Girling' allows oil to be applied to moving parts of the suspension from a central reservoir by using a foot pedal. This standard steel sports saloon shorter wheelbase chassis and engine was a variant of the Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith of 1946. In late 1952 both the Rolls Royce Silver Dawn and Bentley Mk VI standard steel bodies were modified to incorporate a trunk (boot) of about twice the size and the result became known as the R type Bentley based on the Chassis number at which the change took place.

For those who are unfamiliar, Rolls Royce & Bentley no longer exists as it had for over one hundred years - this is one of the original line of cars built in the legendary Rolls Royce factory in Crewe, England with a quality and craftsmanship that far surpasses that of today's mass produced models with many BMW parts - this is a rare opportunity to own a piece of automobile history, from a time when Rolls Royce and Bentley were truly building the world's finest motor cars.

This increasingly desirable and legendary marque, 1947 Bentley Mark VI along with it's tall grille and Bentley 'Flying B' hood ornament mascot on the hood is a moving work of art from a time when Rolls-Royce and Bentley were famously building the "Best Cars in the World" with the craftsmanship and quality of these cars obviously speaking for themselves.

So buy with confidence, this Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic, will no doubt prove a fabulous investment for the astute investor, Bentley or Rolls Royce enthusiast or collector to own one of the last remaining coachbuilt and all aluminum Bentley Mark VI cars!

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