1952 Bentley “Crewe” Special £66,995
Chassis number: B239NY
Engine number: B369N
There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in Bentley Motorcars!
Magnificent Bentley Mk VI, with lightweight pre-war style sports bodywork and powerful 4 1/2 Litre straight six ‘Big Bore’ engine. Offers brisk performance, further improved by retro electric overdrive. Virtually brand new condition having been built by noted ‘Special’ builder Charles Palmer of Classic Restorations of Alyth, Perthshire, one of UK largest restorations firms employing a team of skilled craftsmen. The finished car was exhibited on their Company’s Trade Stand at the NEC Classic Car Show in 2011 as an example of the firm’s restoration expertise.
The coachwork takes the form of a very stylish open two seater, reminiscent of a pre-war vintage Racing Bentley, with twin Brooklands aero screens. (See footnote about Vintage Bentley history)
Flashing indicators are also tastefully incorporated. All tyres virtually new. The car is fitted with fully restored ‘King of the Road’ P100 headlamps. The paintwork is flawless deep blue, complimented by comfortable black, heated bucket seats and black carpets, the cockpit will accommodate the tallest of drivers as well as offering plenty of knee space below the steering wheel for easy gear changing. Pleasingly, the original walnut dash has been retained along with factory instrumentation (even the electric clock has been restored)
The donor Bentley was given a thorough mechanical fettling during the build, with everything being gone through and replaced, or rebuilt as necessary (photos on file) Many thousands spent overhauling and upgrading the Cooling system ensuring it doesn’t run hot in summer weather (a very common MK VI ailment) and also restoring the one-shot chassis lubrication system. An overdrive unit was fitted which automatically engages around 70MPH in top gear, making the Bentley Mark VI Special very long legged and relaxed at higher speeds.
Feather light on the steering, the Bentley is a joy to drive, with huge torque (easily pulls away in 3rd gear) and no shortage of acceleration. A useful luggage box sits in-front of the fuel tank. There is additional luggage space behind the front seats. A full tonneau cover provides cover for the cockpit when away from the Bentley. A zipper splits the tonneau allowing the passenger side to remain covered whilst driving solo. A great opportunity to buy a professionally designed and built ‘Special’ at a fixed cost and without waiting years for its completion.
This is a car for the Vintage Rallyist who desires a classic looking Bentley Motorcar at an affordable price. It is registered in the Historic Taxation Class and is Road Tax and MOT exempt. Comes with spare wheel, full tonneau cover, stylish, colour-coded rear luggage trunk (containing wheel-changing tools) badgebar (Club badges included) Comprehensive History File with build invoices totalling over £55,000. Extensive Workshop Manuals. Cap & Goggles. Large Quantity of specialist lubricants included.
According to the Bentley Driver’s Club the car should be insured for £100,000 as that is its probable replacement cost!
For more information on this totally unique car, text or call John on 07909 231414.
Vintage Bentleys were produced in Cricklewood between 1919 and 1931, by a small company headed by W.O. Bentley, a designer revered still throughout the automotive industry. In just ten years of existence, the factory won the LeMans 24 hour race no less than five times, and became so successful that other manufacturers refused to compete against them. They specialised in “Fast Gentlemen’s Sports Cars”, but also made grand carriages capable of speeds in excess of 100mph in complete silence. It was the introduction of their greatest machine, the 8 litre (the successor to the Speed Six), that persuaded Rolls Royce to purchase the company in 1931.
There has always been a movement to convert Bentley Saloons into sports 2 seat roadsters, and these are called Bentley Specials. After about 100 years since the first Bentley came to life, few opportunities occur to build a Special based on an abandoned original vintage chassis. Many bespoke coachbuilders therefore build on the post war MkVI chassis. There are many different types, but a true Bentley Special is defined by the Bentley Driver’s Club (BDC) Eligibilty Committee as one using the original chassis, steering, running gear, transmission and engine, fitted with a new or replacement and perhaps one-off body altered to the owner’s requirements. These cars, which include the above example, keep within the “Spirit of the Marque” and are eligible for BDC Membership, Club events and Rallies.
The Bentley MkVI was a fairly modern car for it‘s time, appearing just after WW2. It was the first Bentley produced with a standard steel body from the factory. Pre-war they only supplied rolling chassis for independent body shops to complete. The Mk VI chassis was still made available to the independents, but they only amounted to a fifth of total output. The engine was the powerful 4 1/4 Litre straight six and later on the 4 ½ litre.