Bentley MKVl 1949

By November 8, 2016 No Comments

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Lot No: 8

At a Glance:

Year Make Model Mileage SOLD FOR
1949 Bentley MKVl 46,000 (Not Warranted) £20400 + buyers premium


 Recently discovered gathering dust in the same motor house on a Irish country estate where it has been residing since 1951, this car is an incredible find – a time capsule 1949 Bentley MK VI that displays a highly credible  46,000 miles and is in remarkable condition.

This 1949 Bentley MK VI Steel Saloon was supplied directly from the factory to Mr Claude Willis, Chairman and Managing Director of Associated Iliffe Press Ltd which published Autocar magazine. A copy of the original invoice shows he received a 20% discount off the list price. Presumably this would have had no bearing on the fact that The Autocar magazine was highly impressed with the MkVI as their road test number 1405 in the April 21st edition 1950 attests:

“Perhaps the outstanding thought from extensive driving of the Bentley MkVI built by the world’s premier car manufacturers, Rolls-Royce, is that it has no single predominant feature but gains its unique position from a combination of superbly matched qualities that raise it above the level of other cars. Years of painstaking research and development with mechanical perfection as the goal show their results unmistakably. Smoothness and quietness and sheer quality are in the superlative”

In 1952 the car had been procured by the great granddaughter of a well known Irish industrialist. The car moved to the family estate in where it was to remain until November 2016. Initially it was registered in Ireland under the original UK number of LLG 186 (par for the course following the signing of the Republic of Ireland Act in 1949)

The car was used sparingly on high days and holy days clocking up only 46,000 miles. It was a familiar sight at the Royal Dublin Society horse shows as well as at racecourses around the country.

The history file contains interesting documents amongst them customs carnets enabling passage between Northern Ireland and the Republic in the pre-Troubles years. These carnets recorded the make of tyres and radio fitted to the car following inspection at the frontier check points presumably to eradicate the smuggling of such items. By 1976 it would no longer have been advisable to drive a car with a UK registration in the border regions of the Republic so the car was reregistered with the current Co Louth number.  It appears that the car was last on the on the road in 1984 as that is the year of the last tax disc on the windscreen.

The entire car is in fundamentally solid and sound condition in every respect and with all fittings and fixtures present. The doors close with a pleasing click and have good shuts. The engine fires up on the button and runs as sweet as a nut. A short drive demonstrates that all gears are selecting without issue there is a good clutch. The seats had tailored covers fitted in 1981 however a cursory examination shows the leather underneath to be soft and free from splits albeit they are in grubby condition with the colour lifting. The wood is good throughout. The semaphores are in working order and there are no aftermarket indicators fitted.  A quick drop window lever is fitted to the driver’s door. The sliding roof is opening and closing. The small tool tray under the dash still contains most of its contents. The factory radio crackles into life once the valves have warmed up and is still tuned to Radio 4.  The owner’s manual is in the glove box along with Royal Irish Automobile handbooks going back to 1956. The speedometer reads 46,000 miles, a figure backed up in writing in a letter which also details some of the history of the car.

As well as the aforementioned items the history file contains an old duplicate Irish buff logbook as well as copy of the Bentley factory records along with an old invoice.

This car is being offered without reserve and presents an excellent and probably unrepeatable opportunity to acquire a fascinating car that is a restorers dream!

Please note Irish registered  – no VAT and duties owed. NOVA supplied. Straight forward to register in the UK – we will assist.

For more images –

Auctioneers notes: I endorse the last line 100%

Full Details:

Lot No. 8
Auction 27th January 2017 - 93% SOLD
Vehicle Make Bentley
Vehicle Model MKVl
Year of Manufacture 1949
Mileage 46,000 (Not Warranted)
Registration YIY499
Date first Registered 14-01-1949
Chassis Number B259D2
Engine Number B379D
Estimated Sale Price No Reserve

Please note: Current engine and chassis numbers are supplied by HPI. Prospective buyers are advised to satisfy themselves as to the condition of a vehicle and the accuracy of any statement made, be they statements of fact or opinion. All vehicles are sold as seen. If you cannot attend the auction please contact the office for a walk around description over the phone.

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