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Car of the Month Selection

Car of the Month - April 1998
Bentley Mark VI, 1947, Chassis No.B239AJ,
Fixed Head Coupé by Freestone & Webb

Bentley Mark VI, 1947, Chassis No.B239AJ, Fixed Head Coupé by Freestone & Webb
Non-concealed running boards add conservative note to the design. - You might have seen a photo of this car in a book with a caption describing it erroneously as a product by Arthur Mulliner.

When in May 1946 the first reports about the new Bentley Mark VI appeared in the press, Rolls-Royce announced a radical change in their motor car production compared to the pre-war time. The Bentley Mark VI was offered with a Standard Steel Sports Saloon body and thus left the factory as a complete car. The attractive lines of this design lent themselves to two-tone paintwork which many think enhances the elegant motor car.

The conventional layout with a separate frame however did permit still to deliver the Bentley Mark VI in chassis form to specialist coachbuilders. The price for the standard bodyshell was clearly less expensive than that for a high quality product from an established coachbuilder. Despite this an astonishing high figure of almost 20 % of customers decided to have their Bentley Mark VI clothed individually. As regards their production figure Freestone & Webb were highly successful; that doyen of Bentley research, the late Stanley Sedgwick, listed on Bentley Mark VI 4 1/4 litre chassis 84 bodies and on 4 1/2 litre chassis 19 bodies by Freestone & Webb.

Rear viewThis Fixed Head Coupè was a one-off by Freestone & Webb - their exhibit at the 1947 Earls Court Motor Show and then owned by singer Gracy Fields (having been built built to a very detailed order).

InteriorTwo glove compartments are worthy a note as well as the pull-out ashtray to the left of the instrument panel.

A cocktail cabinet and a gramophone A cocktail cabinet and a gramophone are built-in underneath the rear light.


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