1953 Bentley - Rebodied (1953)




       Unfinished steel rebodied custom. Former Editor of HOT ROD Magazine Terry Cook of DELAHAYE USA first saw Ronald Benach’s 1948 Type 175s Delahaye with Jacques Saoutchik coachbuilt body, restored by Fran Roxas, at Pebble Beach 2000. (See photo of of turquoise streamliner).
        Cook was overwhelmed and hired designer and Art Center grad JOHN CASWELL to create a modern day interpretation of a big, fully pontoon fendered car as a tribute to Saoutchik. It was dubbed project SULTAN out of respect for the many cars famed Russian coach builder Jacques created in the 1920‘s and 30‘s for Kings and Potentates (some of the most beautiful and most expensive cars in the world.) Photoshop renderings show what completed car will look like. Primered steel body photos show what it looks like now.
       Starting with his scale drawings, John worked with pro clay modeler Todd Storrs in Detroit to build a 1/4 scale clay model which was then digitized. Working with Steve Wilkonski of Revolution Design in Michigan to create the car digitally, a wood body buck was built at a yacht builder in Thailand. Over several years a steel body was then hammered from that buck by Car Kolor in Saatahip, Thailand.
       Steel body was shipped to San Bernadino, CA where Little Louie Check hand formed the ornate decorative exterior brass body trim shown. The car is now in master panelbeater Tommy Caruso’s shop in Plainfield, NJ having the larger brass exterior trim, the grille, the windshield frame, trunk and interior sculpting done.
       The unfinished steel body built in Thailand is shown here presently in and grey primer and brownish yellow primer where the preliminary bodywork has been done. The color photoshop renderings of SULTAN attached show a variety of possible color schemes with either chrome or gold plated exterior trim. Customer picks the final colors.
       The car is being built as a rebodied Bentley with title and matching VIN plate for the firewall so it can be registered as a Bentley. We started with a 1953 Bentley chassis, stripped it to bare metal and added a modern independent front suspension and late model Ford 9-inch rear using coil over suspension. Brown’s Metal Mods in Port Leyden, NY completed the chassis and mounted the body on the frame. Firewall, full floorboards, and front and rear wheel tubs were fabricated and installed in the car.
      We wanted something totally unique so we had John Caswell design an asymmetrical interior with a single driver’s seat and a wrap-around couch The trunk compartment would contain custom fitted luggage in the front portion with a hidden space tire well in the floor.
     The car has a freshly rebuilt twin-carb inline six cylinder Bentley engine and rebuilt Bentley/Rolls Royce automatic transmission. It includes five wheels and wide whitewall tires.
The body and one chassis/engine combination or the other is for sale for $150,000 as is, unfinished. Trades considered. Or DELAHAYE USA would like to complete the project for a new owner. We have been working on this car since the last century! This is an enormous car over 18 feet long. Easily the most spectacular undertaking of all the cars designed and created by Delahaye USA, +1-908 876 9727. $150,000 or trade

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  • Year: 1953
  • Doors: 2
  • Body type: Saloon
  • Transmission type: Automatic
  • Fuel type: Petrol
  • Colour: Gold


  • Engine size (Litres): 4.6

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Delahaye USA

New Jersey, United States

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