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Lot 135: 1978 Bentley T2 Former property of Mr. Chris Evans
29 October 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
1978 Bentley T2 Former property of Mr. Chris Evans
Reg. Number: UK Registered
Chassis Number: SBH 35120
Outwardly distinguishable from the Silver Shadow only by virtue of its different radiator and winged ‘B’ mascot, the T-Series Bentley was introduced alongside its Rolls-Royce sibling in 1965. Mechanically identical, the duo represented a complete break with tradition, being the first of the Crewe factory’s models to employ unitary construction. Originally of 6,230cc, the pushrod V8 engine grew to 6,750cc in 1970 and provided identical power in either application. Nevertheless, Autocar’s T2 proved fastest of the Shadow family that the magazine had tested, accelerating to 60mph in under 10 seconds and achieving a maximum speed of 119mph. Introduced in 1977 alongside the Shadow II, the T2 gained split-level air-conditioning, rack and pinion steering, revised dashboard and a chin spoiler. Bentley was seen as very much the ‘junior’ marque at this time – its resurgence in the form of the Mulsanne Turbo was still some five years away – and sold in correspondingly limited numbers. By the time production ceased in 1980, only 568 Bentley T2s had found customers compared with over 10,500 Rolls-Royce Shadow IIs, and today this arguably more handsome car is increasingly sought after.
The vendor advises us that this particular T2 was ordered for the son of Jack Barclay, founder of the eponymous London-based Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealership. It was subsequently owned by broadcaster Chris Evans, and is mentioned affectionately in his autobiography ‘It’s Not What You Think’ (pages 259/260): ‘It didn’t hurt that I was also now travelling to and from London in a sparkling black Bentley complete with tinted windows and a dark green leather interior – the next little beauty in my life-line of automobiles.’
The Bentley is offered with a V5C registration document and sundry invoices issued by Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz specialist M.B. Jarvie of Glasgow, which relate to general servicing and other works for the period 2009 to 2015, and total over £6,000.
Offered with Full Service History and serviced last at 62,694 miles in 2015, this is a supremely stylish Bentley which offers fantastic value for money in the current market.