Proceeds to benefit 'Pets Lifeline'
1948 BENTLEY MARK VI SPORTS SALOON
Chassis No. B282DA
Two-tone silver and black with grey leather interior
Engine: six cylinder, in-line, overhead valve, 4,257cc, 135bhp at 4,000rpm; Gearbox: four speed manual, column lever; Suspension: independent by coil springs and wishbones with lever arm hydraulic dampers to front, live axle with half-elliptic springs and adjustable lever arm hydraulic dampers to rear; Brakes: four wheel drum, hydraulically operated to front, mechanical with servo to rear. Right hand drive.
The first post-War Bentley Mark 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 3½ liter and 4¼ liter models produced between 1932 and 1939. The car was compact in design and very much a driver's 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 4¼ liter had an F-type alloy cylinder head and featured belt-driven dynamo and water pump. The engine gave a healthy 135bhp at 4,000rpm, provided quick acceleration from 0 to 50 in 12 seconds and a top speed of nearly 100mph.
This right hand drive example (still displaying the UK plates 'EBW 378') has been in the USA since the early 1970s having been originally supplied to the UK. The generous history files document much correspondence between the factory, owners and suppliers and it is from here that we identify that by 1955 the car had come into the hands of Mr. Edward Corke from Oxhey in Hertfordshire. Mr. Corke was a company director who worked in London and he kept the car until his retirement in the early 1960s by which time he had moved to Llandudno in North Wales. Fastidious would be an understatement as to how one could describe this owner as there are in the region of forty separate correspondences (mostly to the works) throughout his custody of the car, as he seemed adamant to maintain and use the car exactly as Bentley intended. Indeed there is even correspondence relating to the front passenger door accidentally swinging open when entering his garage one day (at an estimated 5mph) necessitating a minor repair!
By 1968, ownership had transferred to Kenneth Stark (another resident of North Wales) who kept the MkVI equally well-documented and maintained. By the end of 1972 the car had made its way to California where, after a short stint with Charles Neuman of Walnut Creek (who purchased the car directly from Mr. Stark), it came into the ownership of Mick Brown, the Sunset Boulevard-based national sales manager of Twentieth Century Records. Continuing the trend, Brown kept all records up-to-date and we note that he commissioned some light restoration including re-chroming and attention to the body by Len Barton Custom Paint. During this ownership, it is rumored that the Bentley was a regular sight around Los Angeles and the passengers at this time are even rumored to have been of celebrity status. By 1976, Mr. Brown (now a Rolls-Royce Owners Club member) had moved to Northern California where the car has been since.
When recently inspected, this MkVI presented well and appears to be a solid example throughout, the paintwork and chrome (while still presentable) have aged gently and the leather interior is cracked throughout and requires attention. It has recently been recommissioned and is reported to run well.
The current owner, a wine country resident, has owned the MkVI for many years and due to increasingly limited use has decided to offer the car for sale with the proceeds to benefit 'Pets Lifeline', a local nonprofit animal shelter in Sonoma that helps to care for and find homes for abandoned pets in the area.