1952 BENTLEY MARK VI CONVERTIBLE
COACHWORK BY GRABER
Chassis No. B192MD
Blue with blue leather interior
Engine: 6 cylinder, overhead valve, 4,275cc, 135hp at 4,000rpm; Gearbox: four speed manual; Suspension: front, independent, rear, semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: four wheel drum. Right hand drive.
Two major developments accompanied Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motors' return to car production in 1946. First, all car manufacturing was transferred from Derby to Crewe, and second, the decision was made to supply complete cars with standardized bodywork made to the company's specification and finished in their own workshops. The first model to adopt this principal was the 4.5 liter Bentley MK VI with a new all steel four door body which became known as the Standard Steel Saloon. This was totally assembled in Crewe, and although the body shells were made by The Pressed Steel Company, they were to the drawings of the Crewe design office.
The first post-war Bentley MK VI launched in May, 1946, was, in comparison with its pre-war counterparts, an entirely new departure both in engineering and design and was to set the basis for all future models. In production numbers, it was almost mass produced, with over 5,000 cars leaving the production line between 1946 and 1952 compared with 2,500 units of the 3.5 liter and 4.5 liter models produced between 1932 and 1939. The car was compact in design and very much an owner/driver vehicle with a comprehensive interior specification which included heater and de-misters, leather upholstery, radio, picnic tables, vanity mirrors and reading lights. The distinctive radiator carried a forward sloping winged B fixed to a dummy radiator cap.
The revised 4.25 liter now had an F-type alloy cylinder head and featured belt-driven dynamo and water pump. The engine gave a healthy 135bhp at 4,000rpm, and provided brisk acceleration with 0-50mph in 12 seconds and a top speed of nearly 100mph.
While the majority of MK VIs were built as standard steel saloons, a few chassis were sent to specialist coachbuilders such as H.J. Mulliner, James Young and Freestone and Webb. Two of the most rare and desirable coachbuilt cars were the Coupe and the Drophead by the Swiss coachmaker, Graber.
William Lassiter's elegant Graber bodied Mark VI was acquired from a California owner in the early 1990s. Upon receipt of the Bentley, Mr. Lassiter and Jack Dietz fully reconstructed the top in a matching dark blue color with a light tan headliner. The interior of the car is well presented and appears to be in clean, well kept condition. The leather was completely re-upholstered by Jack Dietz to enhance the interior wood appointments and overall condition. The trunk appears clean and is finished in a dark gray carpet. The whitewall tires and blue wheel discs are a nice compliment to the car's overall appearance. The engine bay is presentable and gives the impression of being well maintained. There are some minor blemishes in areas of the exterior brightwork and chrome door sills. This very attractive Mark VI would make a handsome addition to any collection.