Bentley Mark VI Drophead Coupe
Unlike many other manufacturers, Bentley’s parent company Rolls-Royce survived the ravages of World War II in relatively good financial health. In 1946, the all-new Mark VI debuted as the first new post-war Bentley model of Rolls-Royce design. Remarkably, the first example was delivered to its owner in September 1946, just 16 months after V-E Day. A powerful new six-cylinder engine powered the Mark VI, displacing 4,257 cc and featuring an aluminum-alloy F-head design. All told, 4,949 Mark VIs were built through 1952.
The Mark VI was also the first Bentley to be fitted with standard factory-designed steel bodywork, as the bodies were fitted to the chassis, trimmed and painted to a high standard rivaling the best custom coachbuilders of the era. Custom coachwork, however, remained available at the buyer’s discretion. The handsome designs executed by Switzerland’s famed Carrosserie Graber remain among the most successful to grace the Mark VI chassis.
Hermann Graber, who was born in Wichtrach, Switzerland near Bern, learned the coachbuilding trade from his father, becoming a well-respected builder of horse-drawn vehicles before making his first automobile body for a Fiat 508 in 1927. He achieved additional fame in St. Moritz two years later, where he won the Concours d’Elegance for his work on a Panhard-Levassor 20 CV – an achievement that undoubtedly expanded his international renown and eventually resulted in additional commissions from such respected marques as Alfa Romeo, Bentley and others.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2011 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
150 bhp, 4,257 cc inline six-cylinder F-head engine, four-speed manual gearbox, coil spring and wishbone front suspension, semi-elliptic springs with adjustable shock absorbers at rear, and hydraulic front, mechanical rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 120"
Source: RM Auctions