1946-1955 | Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, Silver Dawn; Bentley MkVI, R Type
Following the Second World War the first cars to emerge from Crewe were the Bentley MkVI in 1946 followed by the Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith (1947) and Silver Dawn (1948). The MkVI and Silver Dawn were the first models to be produced with factory built all-steel coachwork.
All models were powered by a straight six engine with an initial capacity of 4.257 litres. A “bigger bore” 4.566 litre engine was introduced in 1951 with the last of the R Type Continental and Silver Wraith models having a 4.887 litre engine. A four speed manual gearbox was fitted as standard up until 1952 at which point it was superseded by a GM Hydramatic automatic gearbox, although customers could still specify a manual option.
The MkVI ceased production in August 1952 and was replaced by the R Type (so called because of the chassis range starting with an R) which was effectively a “bigger boot” version as the luggage capacity was doubled. Both the MkVI and R Type have become popular for conversion into “specials”, many of which have, and continue to be, modified and maintained by dedicated enthusiasts.
The now highly desirable R Type ‘Continental’ models (1952-55) were also only offered as a rolling chassis, the majority of which were bodied by coachbuilder H. J. Mulliner. Its high performance engine earnt it the title as the fastest 4 seat production car available at that time.
The Silver Dawn was effectively a RR badged Bentley MkVI or R Type with the only main mechanical difference being the fitting of a single Stromberg or Zenith carburetter.
The Silver Wraith was only offered as a rolling chassis, originally 127” long (7” longer than the MkVI and Silver Dawn chassis,) with a 133” Long Wheelbase version available from 1952. Typically these were bodied as limousines and production continued until 1958.
Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn: 760
Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith: 639
Bentley MkVI (4.25 litre engine): 4000 including 832 with coachbuilt bodies
Bentley MkVI (4.5 litre engine): 1202 including 180 with coachbuilt bodies
Bentley R Type: 2323 including 295 with coachbuilt bodies
Bentley R Type Continental: 208 - 193 of which were bodied by HJ Mulliner
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