52 Bentley MKVI 'Big Bore' H.J.Mulliner 'Lightweight Saloon' (1952)




Chassis Nr. B38MD
Delivered new to Belfast, this is a bright & cheerful example of the unusual and appealing ‘lightweight’ H.J.Mulliner design, with early features such as divided windscreen, interestingly contrasting with an overall ‘futuristic’ look for its time. The metallic beige paint, as originally specified on the sales records seems to suit the design particularly well, looking fresh and attractive, with its matching light interior, and was probably suitably uplifting in a gloomy post-war Britain of the early 1950s! Accompanying the car are two folders of paperwork, which include a run of MoT certificates covering nearly forty years, the original logbook from 1952, the H.J.Mulliner Coachwork Maintenance Instructions, specific to the car, various other documents, and last but by no means least, invoices for work carried out going back to the 1970s, including £61,000 spent by the last owner since 2001! Amongst this work was a full repaint, documented by photos, carried out in 2015. The car is in good, sound condition, runs well, fitted with a recent, well-suited set of Avon Turbosteel radial tyres (the spare is new), and drives very nicely, aided of course by being a 4½ Litre ‘Big Bore’ example, from the last year of production. Nicely different and very useable.
Chassis No.  B38MD                  Reg. No. OZ 7718                    
Snippets: Pocket Handkerchiefs, an Elopement & a Secret Tunnel
B38MD was initially allocated to Mrs Brotherton but she changed her mind & it was reallocated to Samuel McCrudden of Belfast.  Samuel was a serial Bentley and Rolls-Royce aficionado and during the period of 1947/64 he had owned no less than 4 MK VIs, 2 R-Type Continentals, a S1 Continental, S2 Continental, a Wraith, 3 Silver Wraiths, a Silver Cloud I and a Silver Cloud III.  When Samuel McCrudden Snr died in 1950 it took over 7 years for all the death duties to be finalised – he had moved to America during WWII & left over $1,000,000 dollars plus his interest in the Belfast business.  McCrudden Snr  had established the firm of Samuel McCrudden & Co (Belfast) in 1910 as a linen & cotton weaver, in 1934 the handkerchief factory in Belfast caught fire with newspaper reports of “blazing pocket handkerchiefs being blown over the heads of the onlookers”.  As Samuel McCrudden Jnr was such a car enthusiast he only kept B38MD until June 1953 when the car was acquired by Geoffrey Kennedy of Lowsley whose daughter Tessa eloped with the society portrait painter Dominick Elwes when she was underage!  Geoffrey & his ex-wife (Daska Ivanovic known as the “Pearl of Dubrovnic") took out proceedings to have Elwes arrested and Tessa made a ward of court.  Tessa went on to become an internationally known interior designer with clients such as De Beers, Stanley Kubrick, King Hussein of Jordan and various hotels such as The Ritz, Claridges and The Berkeley.  From the chassis cards it would appear that B38MD remained with Geoffrey until 1977 when Peter Rowsell of Studwell Lodge in Droxford purchased the car.  An earlier owner of Studwell Lodge (Sir G J Bower) was a naval officer and consequently away at sea for much of his career, during his absence his wife would give tea parties and soirees which meant some landscaping of the lawn down to the Meon.  This was all very well and good but Mrs Bower was not keen on her guests seeing Adam the gardener wheeling barrow loads of manure across the lawn to the sunken vegetable garden in front of her guest – the elegant  solution was for her husband to have the ship’s company dig out a tunnel which is still there today!
Part exchange:Will consider
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  • Year: 1952
  • Doors: 4
  • Body type: Saloon
  • Transmission type: Manual
  • Fuel type: Petrol
  • Colour: Gold

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The Real Car Co.

Gwynedd, United Kingdom

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