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Car of the Month
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Car of the Month - November 2005
Bentley Mark VI, 1947, #B139BG
Cabriolet by Gebrueder Beutler (Switzerland)
On 29th September 2005 in his 90th year Ernst Beutler-Kueng died. He and
his brother Fritz had founded a coachbuilding business in Switzerland
after WWII where many attractive bodies were created on chassis from
various motor car manufacturers. Ernst Beutler-Kueng was the designer, his
brother was responsible for all technical aspects.
Beutler had bodied one 1947 Bentley Mark VI as a dhc. Ernst Beutler-Kueng
did inform that the Bentley Mark VI originally had been built for a Swiss
customer who didn't give permission for any photo of the car to be shown.
For decades Beutler-Kueng kept in a ‘Confidential File’ a few mono-photos
that had been taken taken with great caution without the owner's knowledge
just prior to handing over the car. The mono-photos show this 1st body by
Beutler on the chassis of Bentley Mark VI, #B139BG. The quality of the
more than 50 years old mono-photos isn’t perfect, but these might well be
the only photos available worldwide that show this particular car.
The original specifications which Ernst Beutler-Küng did remember very
clearly (though he was already in his 80ies when we did exchange letters)
he kindly listed in a handwritten 2 pages document. In another letter he
stated quite amused that only after decades he found the car's correct
designation to be Mk VI - his drawings had noted Mk.4 (Mark 4) because
someone had misread the Roman “VI” as a “IV” and translated that incorrect
term into the Arabian figure "4". They had preferred to use Arabian
figures at Gebrueder Beutler.
After only two years later this car returned to Gebrueder Beutler for a
second body to be made. The owner wanted his Bentley to show a more modern
appearance. Hence in 1949 Beutler - using as much as possible of the old
structure underneath the panels - on the 1947 chassis did built a new
drophead coupe that was more than reflecting the lines ‘en vogue’ then, it
was a truly advanced styling.
When correspondence was checked that had been exchanged with that most
kind gentleman (usually his letters started with the very old-fashioned
and particularly polite term "Liebwerter Herr Rossfeldt...") I found he
had informed about 2 Rolls-Royce having been subject to coachbuilder
Gebrueder Beutler's work, too.
documents had survived. Ernst Beutler-Kueng did remember one was a Phantom
II that was converted into a Hotel-bus ca. 1955-56; the chassis had been
extended. The second had been a ground-up restoration of an early post-war
Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith.