Lot 63 (Imperial War Museum Duxford, 18th March 2020)
Registration No: HBD 288
Chassis No: BT46NZ
With just three previous recorded keepers and registering just 34,300 recorded miles, this extremely elegant and rare coach built MKVI saloon by Freestone & Webb (body number 1647 to design 3082C) is finished in Garnet over Dove Grey with Magnolia leather to the interior complimented by red carpet. It is one of just fifteen examples produced to design 3082C and has recently been the subject of much restoration work including attention to the paintwork, an interior retrim and refurbishment of the wood to a high standard. The sunroof and frame have also been restored by Classic Restorations of Alyth, Perthshire. Retaining its original registration number, HBD 288 comes with its RREC chassis records and is described as being in “excellent” condition as regards its paintwork, bodywork, engine, transmission and interior.
Introduced in 1946, the MKVI was Bentley's first post-war model. Aimed at the emerging 'owner-driver' luxury car market, the newcomer was closely based on the 1939 MKV (of which only fifteen were produced). Built around a massive cruciform-braced chassis with independent front suspension and a leaf-sprung 'live' rear axle, it was initially fitted with a freshly developed 4257cc OISE (overhead inlet side exhaust valve) straight-six engine mated to a four-speed manual gearbox. Capable of over 100mph when clad in the factory's understated but stylish 'standard steel saloon' coachwork, the MKVI quickly developed a reputation for being a refined yet responsive drive. The availability of the so-called 'Big Bore' 4566cc powerplant from late 1951 onwards brought a welcome increase in flexibility and acceleration. Only in production for two seasons, just 1,202 'Big Bore' MKVIs were made of which just 180 are thought to have received coach built bodies.