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Car of the Month - February 2002
Bentley 6 ½ Litre Speed Six, 1930, #LR2776
H.J. Mulliner Drop Head Coupé

It was standard practice for any client considering to purchase a new Bentley prior to the outbreak of World War II in 1938 to do so in two stages. The choice of the engine and the chassis would be first and then the selecting of appropriate coachwork. As regards chassis and engine there was the rather limited choice of but a few details. As regards the body, trimmed to the client's choice, alternatives were almost limitless to express personal taste.

A Bentley 6 ½ Litre Speed Six left no doubt that the choice had been an easy one: Simply the best had been good enough - only 182 of this model were built propelled by engines with 160bhp or 180bhp respectively. Thus it was set apart from the basic Bentley 6 ½ Litre with 140bhp. Miss H. Bingham, who accepted delivery of this car in July 1930, had decided to order a Drophead Coupé body from H.J. Mulliner. Their company was one the best bastions of the coachbuilders' craft and most certainly succeeded in a tremendously well balanced design on this motor car - with extras like Grebel headlamps adding an exquisite touch.
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The car is an example fully in the tradition of the „Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harnessmakers”. It is one of the highly respected livery companies of London. Their Charter was first granted by King Charles II in May 1677. It states, amongst other things: “In their Art and Misteries there is not only required skill and good workmanship but also great care and trust in providing and using good and proper materials”. This Bentley 6 ½ Litre Speed Six has survived in its original condition, proving beyond doubt that H.J. Mulliner's work set a standard in a class of its own.


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