It is one of the most visually arresting automobiles in existence. This 1947 Bentley Mark VI Cabriolet, with custom coachworks by Franay was created exclusively for the 1947 Paris Auto Show and is widely considered to be the most unique and valuable postwar Bentley on the planet. The interior is adorned in 100 percent frog skin, bringing an air of extreme customization to the already impressive vehicle. The one-of-a-kind multiple "Best In Show" Award winner is part of a remarkable collection from prominent collector Gary Wales that will roll across the auction block at No Reserve during the fourth annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Collector Car Event at the South Florida Expo Center later this month.
The Franay Bentley Mark VI Cabriolet has been a featured car in publications such as Robb Report and is a Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance class champion.
Also in the collection is a 1919 racecar, nicknamed "La Bestioni," or "The Beast of Turin," that features a massive 14 liter 6-cylinder engine. This custom racecar actually rides on the chassis of an American La France fire truck. Built with the sole purpose of going faster than anything on the road, this two-man racer is completely devoid of any creature comforts. It's a perfect addition to any racing enthusiast's private collection.
Possibly the most outrageous of the collection is the Bentley Royale, a custom project car that incorporates parts from every series of Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars of the early 1900s. A true hot rod, the Royale is powered by dual six liter straight eights configured into a V to make one unique 16-cylinder monster. Its chassis is from a 1938 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, while the body combines the grace of a Sedanca De Ville with the fenders of a Phantom 1.
The final custom Bentley is known simply as the "Aero Car." Loosely based on a 1930 Blue Train Bentley, the Aero Car incorporates a supercharged straight eight into its classic styling. Modern comforts have been added including air conditioning, power steering, power brakes and an overdrive manual transmission. Like the Royale, the Aero Car incorporates two radiators.
"This collection represents one of most interesting we've ever auctioned," commented Craig Jackson, president and CEO of the Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. "All four are part of the same lovingly maintained collection, which is why each is in such immaculate condition. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a very significant Bentley."
"These are some of the finest hand-crafted cars in the world," noted Jackson. "The collection contains something for the purist, the hot rodder and the gentleman racer. These unusual cars will be the hot ticket at Palm Beach."
The pristine collection of some of these famous vehicles is expected to generate tremendous excitement as the legendary British vehicles cross the stage. The automotive lifestyle event includes a gala, vendor displays and three days of No Reserve auction excitement from Thursday, March 30, through Saturday, April 1, 2006. This year's event will include more than 500 quality collector cars, all selling at No Reserve. Television coverage will be provided by SPEED.