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Bentley Mark V (1939-1941)

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Bentley Mark V (1939-1941)
The Bentley Mark V was the first of The Rationalised Range and the first Bentley with independent front suspension. Only a few were completed before the Second World War put an end to chassis production at Derby.

This is experimental chassis No 11BV fitted with Park Ward saloon coachwork and called Comet also known as the Scalded Cat. It was fitted with a 5.3 litre in line eight cylinder engine in a Mark V chassis. Engine : 6 cylinder, in-line configurationTransmission.

Single dry-plate clutch, 4 speed gearbox Chassis Pressed-steel parallel girder with channel and tubular crossmembersDimensions Wheelbase 124", Track front 56 1/4", Track rear 58" Performance : 97 mph 156 km/h. No. Made : 15 11 of these fitted with a body Altogether, eleven prototypes of the Bentley Mark V had been tested since 1948. They all differed remarkably from each other, which is not unusual in prototypes. Seven of them were powered with engines indentical to that used in the Wraith.

The remaining four, in a lighter frame, carried the first six-cylinder engines of the new generation.Instead of the single Stromberg carburettor of the Wraith, mixture for the Mark V was supplied by two SU carburettors.In addition, it provided better roadholding and handling, because its chassis was equipped with the independent front suspension which followed the example of the American Packard.

The outbreak of the Second World War meant a stop was put to the development of the new model. Some thirty years went by before the true number of Bentley Mark Vs was extracted from the chassis cards.At the outbreak of the war the Bentley Mark V had fifteen chassis with engine completed; six further cars were left unfinished, but remained at one or another stage of production.

Eleven of the completed chassis with engines were fitted with coachwork. they were pressed into service as transport for high ranking officials and military officers and were kept driveable because parts were taken from the six Mark Vs which had remained more or less unfinished.

In the same way three of the finished Bentley Mark Vs which had not received bodies, were cannibalized the last one, however, ended up as a victim to an air-raid at the premises of James Young where it awaited bodying. Some Bentley Mark Vs, the rarest cars of the post Silver Ghost era at Rolls-Royce, are known to have survived.

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