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Car of the Month - June 2000
1929 Bentley 6 ½ Litre, 1929, #LB2344,
Le Mans Style Tourer

Bentley 6 ½ Litre

"After reading over what I have written it occurs to me that I have still failed to convey to you the extraordinary docility of charm and road manners of this really wonderful motor car. It combines noiselessness with power, speed, and comfort in the most unusual degree." – No wonder Bentley Motors Ltd. didn't employ a public relations manager to select appropriate superlatives but decided instead to include this enthusiastic description as a starter in the company's catalogue. The words concluded an article on a trial of the Six-cylinder Bentley in January, 1927, by the motoring correspondent of "The Daily Mirror".

Bentley 6 ½ Litre, Dashboard And that report had been no exaggeration, because the Bentley 6 ½ Litre indeed was a motor car of outstandingly fine quality. Its six-cylinder engine sported 4 valves per cylinder (!) and was but a yardstick as regards performance and reliability; and that hadn't been achieved by compromising as regards power-output. The rigid chassis in combination with a sophisticated drive train guaranteed perfect roadholding. The new model in no small measure did benefit from Bentley Motors' vast experience having taken part in a variety of competitive events successfully. The Bentley 6 ½ Litre was a most desirable car to be fitted with impressive, lavishly equipped coachwork to ensure comfortable touring even over very long distances.

Bentley 6 ½ Litre, Engine

The Bentley 6 ½ Litre's rapid acceleration, speed and effective braking made the model a superior contender for victory in racing too. Fitted with a light tourer body this car was a most effective sports machine – if the tyres survived the stress, that is. In racing terms, the most successful of W.O. Bentley's products was the Bentley Speed Six, which did achieve first places at the prestigious „24 Hours of Le Mans“.

Bentley 6 ½ Litre

Such history has been the reason why only very few Bentley 6 ½ Litre still do exist sporting their original coachwork in the form of saloon, limousine or drophead coupé. Once the original body showed signs of age, it was preferred, to substitute that by sporty tourer coachwork. „Re-bodied“ the car then was almost indistinguishable from the famous racing cars in British Racing Green that had dominated the tracks. The car shown here is no exception as it had been delivered to the first owner, Mrs. B. Hamilton, as a Weymann Saloon by H.J. Mulliner. The Standard Reference Book on Vintage Bentleys is Michael Hay's „Bentley, The Vintage Years 1919-1931“. There you'll find this car listed „Paddon Bros tourer 1930's.“ After having been stored during World War II until 1977 it was said to have been a 2 seater. Presumably that body was substituted once more as nowadays the car is bodied with a 4 seater touring body.

Bentley 6 ½ Litre

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