autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

First Bentley T1 Now Under Restoration, Will Be Finished Next Year

Back in 1958, when Bentley was making the S1 in Crewe, work began designing the first monocoque in the British automaker’s history. John Blatchley, the gentleman who gave us the R-Type Continental, was instrumental in the design of the T-Series that launched in 1965.
First Bentley T1 (chassis number SBH1001) 12 photos
First Bentley T1 (chassis number SBH1001)First Bentley T1 (chassis number SBH1001)First Bentley T1 (chassis number SBH1001)First Bentley T1 (chassis number SBH1001)First Bentley T1 (chassis number SBH1001)First Bentley T1 (chassis number SBH1001)First Bentley T1 (chassis number SBH1001)First Bentley T1 (chassis number SBH1001)First Bentley T1 (chassis number SBH1001)First Bentley T1 (chassis number SBH1001)First Bentley T1 (chassis number SBH1001)
Bodied in steel and aluminum, the T1 improved on the S3 with more passenger space and luggage capacity although it’s both shorter and narrower than the forerunning luxobarge. Vibrashock rubber subframe mounts were featured, isolating unwanted vibrations and road noise. Independent suspension with automatic height control, double wishbones all around, coil springs up front, semi-trailing arms for the rear axle, and a hydraulic braking system with four-wheel discs also need to be mentioned.

Capable of hitting 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) in 10.9 seconds and a top speed of 185 kilometers per hour (115 miles per hour), the T1 came exclusively with the L-series V8 introduced in 1959 in the S2. Originally a 6,230-cc powerplant, the free-breathing lump was enlarged to 6,750 cubic centimeters in 1969. The car we’re covering today, which is the very first T1 produced, is equipped with the smaller-displacement engine.

Chassis number SBH1001 is one of 1,868 examples ever made in four-door saloon, two-door saloon, and two-door convertible flavors. After decades of neglect, Bentley has taken upon itself to restore this piece of automotive history over the course of at least 18 months. Once finished, SBH1001 will be rightfully added to the British automaker’s growing heritage collection.

Finished on September 28th of 1965 in Shell Grey for the exterior and blue leather for the interior, the oldest T-Series around started its rejuvenation process in October 2016 with the removal of trim and some tender loving care for the bodyshell. The project was temporarily halted because of the automaker’s more pressing matters, but with renewed attention on the heritage collection, SBH1001 will return to its former glory in late 2023.



 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories