This unique Bentley Sports Special has been built to an exemplary standard by an experienced motor engineer who has rebuilt around 30 vintage and classic cars many of them being bodied as Sports Specials like this one which is the 4th Bentley Special he has created. Every car is different and this stunning example he considers to be his finest achievement.
The donor car started life in 1949 as a Bentley MkVI chassis (number B499CD) fitted with a Gurney Nutting Sports Saloon body. The Rolls Royce factory card lists full specification and original owners details up to 1953. By 2008 the saloon body was in a sorry state and after careful inspection, it was felt that it was beyond repair so the decision was taken to create a Special.
A thorough ‘nut and bolt’ programme of restoration and creation has taken place, with new 1930’s style Open 2 Seater bodywork made in ash, using-hand formed aluminium panels. The engine has been stripped and rebuilt by Saunders of Cadnam with 20 thou big end and 30 thou main bearings, valve guides, cylinder head studs and the block has been sleeved back to standard. The four speed gearbox was found to be in good condition but a new clutch and thrust bearing were fitted. A period external handbrake system was installed.
The chassis (cleanest he had ever seen) was red-leaded then re-sprayed and the lower trunnions were rebuilt. The brakes were rebuilt with new seals and servo and the refurbished chassis now rolls on stoved enamel 16 inch wheels with new tyres. The rear spring leather gaiters were painstakingly restored and re-dressed with saddle soap. When all this work was completed the engine and gearbox were moved 14 inches back on the chassis and the radiator was lowered. The interior has been re-trimmed with green leather seats and door panels. The mahogany dashboard has refurbished dials and an electronic rev counter. Wood rim steering wheel fitted and Claxon horn for the finishing touch.
To complement the British Racing Green body, new weather gear has been made in black double duck, consisting of a hood, side screens, full tonneau and hood cover. Further benefits from a fold-flat windscreen, aero screens, a heavy duty alternator and has been fully re-wired.
The car history file includes a photograph of the original Gurney Nutting bodied car, Parts Catalogue and copy Owner’s Manual, RR factory card details.
Transformation into a striking sports special was completed last year and only a handful of shake-down miles have been covered since. This beautifully constructed Special is now ready for a new owner to enjoy the coming Summer months in open top splendour. The car drives exceptionally well with the steering being light and direct. Handling and overall performance is drastically improved and the 4.2 litre engine is is very responsive helped by the reduced weight over the standard saloon Mk VI. This very attractive Special is an ideal tourer with generous luggage space behind the seats and in the rear trunk.
MOT to March 2012
Tax to March 2012
The builder is a time-served Motor Engineer MV (Tech) who used to specialize in building Racing car engines for the Ford Motor Coy. He is also an ex Police Vehicle Inspector.
The chassis is standard height as the Guerny Nutting Sports was lower than the SS Saloon.
Gearbox and cruciform moved rearwards by 14 inches and new chassis members fabricated. Steering column raked to lower position. Brake servo fitted into cross member. All brakes overhauled with new seals, new brake linings. New wheel bearing n/s. lower fulcrum pins overhauled. New top bearings on Kingpins. All steering ends dismantled, cleaned and checked, reassembled and adjusted. Chassis was cleaned and red-leaded using old fashioned sort with high lead content. Reconditioned radiator , water pump rebuilt by T.G.Autospares. Cyl block waterjacket thoroughly cleaned to remove original casting sand (main cause of overheating in MkVI’s) all cyl studs replaced. Engine reconditioned by Saunders Engines Ltd. New folding screen and P brackets handmade using 316 grade Stainless Steel with high chrome content. New Brooklands Aero Screens. New weather gear in Double Duck cloth (thicker than normal material) Total construction time 14 months.