The Bentley MK VI, or ‘Mark VI’ for the spoken word, was the post-war successor to the Bentley Mark V. The Mark V had been released in 1939 with unfortunate timing, just as World War II was looming. It was built only until 1941 in a very limited quantity, with only eighteen MK V examples, or so-called 'Derby Bentleys,' ever produced. The MK VI, on the other hand, promised to be a success. Production began in 1946, on a larger scale, and Bentley managed to showcase their luxury car know-how by building the post-war MK VI.
The MK VI was offered as two-door saloon, four-door saloon, and two-door 'drophead coupe' (or convertible) variants. While this was not particularly new, the groundbreaking fact was that this impressive classic was entirely constructed from steel bodywork, and that had never been done by Bentley before. Additionally, it was the first Bentley to be fully assembled and constructed at the Bentley factory in Crewe. Previously, body finishing was outsourced to renowned coachbuilders after the sale of the ‘rolling chassis’. Now, Bentley made it possible to purchase a car, albeit not just the regular ‘a car’, as a complete package. The arrival of the MK VI meant that the finished bodywork was part of the package, although customers still had the option to choose chassis from different well-known revered builders to provide a service that was compatible with Bentley's target market.
Under the bonnet of this monumental automobile was a straight-six engine with a 4.3-litre displacement until 1951. Power and more precise specifications were not disclosed by Bentley; they relied on customers trusting that their cars provided ‘adequate’ power. In 1951, the same six-cylinder engine was offered, though it was now larger, at 4.6 litres.
During its production run form 1946 to 1952, approximately 5,200 Bentley MK VI’s were meticulously crafted, following the rules of true British fashion.
Bentley MK VI by Park Ward
During the six-year production period of the MK VI, Park Ward was a significant bodywork supplier for Bentley, which comes to no surprise as they had been manufacturing bodies on commission since 1919. In 1922, they started co-operating with Rolls-Royce. In 1936, they provided the bodywork for the Bentley 4 ¼ Litre, and in 1939, Rolls-Royce acquired the entire company.
The Park Ward-designed Bentley was visually appealing and excellently crafted, and despite its age, it remains compatible with modern traffic, highlighting Bentley's pragmatic approach.
With pride, we introduce our Bentley Mark VI Drophead Coupé Park Ward Design 99! It was delivered on March 28, 1951, to G.J.W. Wareing, its first owner as a standard 4-door saloon. The original English registration was GNV 491. All specs and numbers including color (black over beige) are listed in the build dossier that you will find in the file.
In May 1975, Sir Robert Boyd acquired the Bentley Mark VI, becoming the 6th owner. All previous owners are listed in the history of the car kept by the RREC in the Hunt House.
Sir Robert Boyd was the father of British space science and forged vital connections between NASA and the European Space Agency.
In addition to this Mark VI, Sir Robert Boyd owned another Mark VI with a Park Ward Drophead Coupé Design 99 with chassis number B186LJ. However, the chassis was in poor condition. Therefore, Sir Robert Boyd undertook the project to save the beautiful body and rebuild it (Source: Bentley Mark VI - A Complete Classics Publication by Bernard L. King, page 340). The rest is history...
The ownership history, as well as the maintenance of the car, has been well documented.
In 2015, the car underwent a thorough restoration, with the details outlined in numerous invoices, totaling over a staggering €80,000.
Today, the car is in excellent condition and starts and drives perfectly!
**Please do not hesitate to contact us via email to receive the detailed expertise report**