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Car of the Month - September 1998
Bentley Mark VI, 1947, #B136BH, Graber Drophead Coupé

Bentley Mark VI, Graber Drophead Coupé

The Swiss coachbuilder Graber enjoyed a fine reputation for highly elegant creations -his drophead coupes (actually he always used the Continental term "Kabriolett") in particular had added to his fame. Even prior to World War II Hermann Graber's company 'Carrosserie Graber' of Wichtrach near Berne had been entrusted with building a body for one of the rare Duesenberg motor cars and the body books listed coachwork for Rolls-Royce and Bentley too.

During the early post-war period Hermann Graber designed bodies on Bentley Mark VI chassis which simply were highlights in their time. It was a subtle mixture of traditional and up-to-date thinking that resulted in flowing lines and ample curves well kept under control. The fully disappearing hood helped to give an impression of uninterrupted nicely flowing lines. A special feature of Graber's cabriolets was a painted dashboard whereas other coachbuilders usually preferred a wooden one.
Bentley Mark VI, Graber Drophead Coupé

The Bentley with chassis number #B136BH was bodied in 1947. It was the third Mark VI which was delivered to Graber via Garage Bellevue AG. With its rigid frame strengthened by a crossmember and its powerful six cylinder in-line engine of 4,250 cc capacity it did offer a fine basis for a reliable touring car. Even when driven in a sporty manner independent front suspension and adjustable rear shock absorbers (controlled via a lever on the steering wheel boss) left no doubt that the car stood up to the company's slogan "Bentley - The Silent Sports Car"

Bentley Mark VI, Graber Drophead Coupé

A Bentley Mark VI was an expensive car, of advanced mechanical quality, built by craftsmen dedicated to poduce the best. Standard of workmanship and finish at Carrosserie Graber were on a par - and in Switzerland there was no shortage as regards supply of raw material, which hindered in several European countries which had suffered severely during wartime. Graber's creations showed an almost shockingly high price tag - well above offers from expensive English coachbuilders. This might be one of the reasons why not more than a handful of cabriolets to this design were made by Graber. The Bentley shown here has been subject of a detailed report in May 1990 in Motor Klassik (one of Germany's premier classic car magazines) and a colour photo is to be found in the book Rolls-Royce and Bentley All models from 1904 - Development History - Production Data - Technical Specifications.
At the time of both these publications going to print the car was painted red. The present owner has decided upon new colour, because light effects enhance the styling's elegance. A new hood was made and the car was retrimmed completely. The car is now in a condition almost like that when it was delivered new by Carrosserie Graber. 

Bentley Mark VI, Graber Drophead Coupé


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