1970 BENTLEY T1 TWO-DOOR DROPHEAD COUPÉ
COACHWORK BY H.J. MULLINER, PARK WARD
Registration No. Y 7601
Chassis No. DBH 9539
Engine No. 9539
Coffee bean brown, with tan leather interior.
Engine: V8 6,230cc, twin SU carburettors; Gearbox: three-speed automatic with torque-converter; Suspension: fully independent, front by coil spring with anti-dive, rear by trailing arm and coil spring, automatic levelling; Brakes: power assisted disc. Right hand drive.
The first Bentley to be built without a separate chassis frame was announced in 1965. It was an important development; the Bentley T1 was lower, shorter and narrower than the S3 which preceded it, without any loss of space within. With the new model, the company comprehensively silenced any criticism that they were no longer at the cutting edge of automobile technology. The powered dual circuit disc brake system was described as the most elaborate ever fitted to any automobile, suspension was fully independent with self-levelling. The seats became electrically adjustable, indeed everything that could be was power assisted, including the windows and the rear quarter-lights which can be made to move out slightly for ventilation. As always with the products from Crewe, there was continual evolution; the four-speed automatic transmission was superseded in 1968 by a three speed unit with torque-converter, compression ratio went to 9:1 to provide more power. On test, the maximum speed was close to 120mph.
There has always been a fluctuation in the popularity of the Bentley against the Rolls-Royce marque. At present the Bentley would seem to have the upper hand, but in the mid-1970s the Rolls-Royce, on this model in particular, outsold its counterpart by over ten to one. The result was that very few cars were built in the Bentley guise, sources differ on the precise figures, but it is thought that a mere 41 Mulliner Park Ward T1 Drophead Coupés were ever built, making this a very rare car today.
The car we offer for sale, was sold new in December 1970 to Jack Barclay Ltd. and when purchased the following month by its first owner, Geoffrey Beard of Co. Durham, it was subsequently re-registered with its distinctive Somerset registration number 'Y 7601'. It is not known how long Mr. Beard retained the car.
Residing in a prominent private collection prior to its acquisition by the present owner in 1995, the Bentley is in tidy order in all respects. At the time of purchase it was noted that the mileage then of 34,000, was from new, and this appears to be borne out by its current condition.
It is equipped with hood bag, copies of the original build sheets, and has a current MoT and road tax.