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Showroom Location: 1145 Park Avenue • Emeryville, California 94608 USA

1949 Bentley Mark VI

Wonderful Driving and Extremely Rare Graber-Bodied Drophead

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Exterior Color Powder Blue
Interior Color Tan Leather
Mileage 7780 Miles
Engine inline-6
Transmission 4-speed manual
Status Sold
Stock FJ595


1949 Bentley Mk. VI Drophead Coupe by Graber
s/n B82FV engine no.
Powder Blue with Tan Interior

The Bentley Mk. VI was Britain’s first postwar luxury car, and reaffirmed that despite the war, Great Britain was still very much the same. The car was built with consummate attention to detail, and to the highest standards using traditionally British techniques. Included among these was the use of a separate frame so that customers seeking individual coachwork could buy chassis only and have them shipped to the coachbuilder of their choice to be fitted with a custom body. Typically, these coachbuilders were British as well, with such famous companies and H. J. Mulliner, Park Ward, James Young, Vanden Plas, Freestone and Webb, and Hooper. A very small number of cars, usually destined for foreign markets, were shipped abroad and fitted with bodies by foreign coachbuilders.

This is one such car, bodied by Graber, a Swiss company that had been founded in 1925. Graber made bodies for many companies, including Alvis, Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Duesenberg, Lagonda, Packard, and Rolls-Royce, among others. Graber bodies are well-regarded for their high quality, elegant proportions, and clean fuss-free styling. There are varying accounts as to how many drophead Mk. VI`s Graber built, but the figure is believed to be between seven and twelve. Regardless, as coachbuilt cars, each one is unique, making this a genuinely irreplaceable car.

This particular car has records back to 1967, which outline much restorative work and enthusiastic ownership. The car was cosmetically and mechanically restored in the late 1960`s and early 1970`s, with new paint, and a complete engine rebuild (including top and bottom ends, carburetors, generator, starter, radiator), new clutch and flywheel, and complete brake system overhaul. The top was also replaced. In the early 1990`s, the interior was completely redone, including carpets, and the chrome was replated.

Cosmetically, the car presents as a very honest well-preserved example with an older restoration. The paint work was done to a high standard and remains very nice, with just a few small blemishes, cracks, and touched up chips. The chrome has surface scratches only and is on the whole excellent. The lights and glass are generally very good, though one of the tail light lense has a crack, as does one of the Cibie headlamps.

The interior is extremely nice, with excellent carpets and leather upholstery. There is very light patina to the leather only. The dashboard is also excellent, with very nice paint, instruments, and switches. There are a few chips to the painted door caps. A Blaupunkt AM/FM radio that appears to be from the 1960`s is installed.

The engine compartment is partially detailed and clean. It presents very nicely, with attractive black paint to the air cleaner, valve cover, and intake manifold. The trunk is partially restored, and there are some spares included, as well as a tonneau cover.

The car drives absolutely fantastically. Even disregarding its size and age, the car is a hugely satisfying and capable car to drive. The car feels light and agile, with excellent turn-in and balance through turns. The suspension controls the car wonderfully, and the steering is accurate. The gearbox is outstanding and the pedals are properly adjusted so that even heel-toeing (!) is accomplished with pleasure and ease. The brakes are very effective, feel great, and do not pull. The overall feel is extremely harmonious and almost impossible to believe without experiencing. This is truly one of those very rare cars that just feels right.

This is quite literally a unique opportunity. Coachbuilt Bentleys are rare, especially those with non-British bodies. Compared to the contemporary designs, this was an extremely modern, almost avant garde design, with minimal extraneous flourishes, and integral fenders. The wonderful patina, documentation, and rarity of this car are extremely difficult to replicate, while the driving experience is extraordinarily rare in any kind of car. This is the sort of car for a sophisticated individual who can appreciate its pedigree and uniqueness, and for that person, this car will be thrilling. 

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Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA

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