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Special Oddball: 1947 Bentley MK VI Special


Custom built “Specials” are always fascinating to see. Examining the parts, styling, performance, and design all lend to a special’s uniqueness. This 1947 Bentley became a “Special” back in the 1970’s as the forth “Donington Special.” Although today this Bentley is known as the “Black Adder Special.” Restyled and rebuilt from the ground up in 2005, this Bentley is ready for anything you can throw at it. This unique and interesting special could be yours for $110,000. Find it here on craigslist out of Alexandria, Virginia.


Low, sleek, and likely very quick, this Bentley has a magnetism that just draws you to it. Powered by a 4.9L inline 6, with a 4 speed gear box, this Bentley is no slouch. The Body is sleek, and clean, but was restyled slightly in its 2005 rebuild. The “Boat Tail” section of the car appears to be the newly added styling feature on this Bentley, but it very much fits the styling of the car. Parts on this special are sourced from Bentley, and Rolls Royce.


The Interior is clean, but simple and to the point. Sporting Brooklands windshields and a banjo steering wheel we can imagine the fun of driving this Bentley Special. Although we would be sure to wear goggles, and likely a leather skin helmet, just to be semi-safe and authentic.


Perhaps this isn’t the most practical car, this Special will certainly draw attention where ever it may end up. This would be an excellent car to enter into “The Great Race.” It will certainly take a special buyer to pick this one up, but it is still a very interesting car to check out and think about. What would you do with something like this Bentley Special?


  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    While this is interesting looking, after seeing this picture of what it did look like, I wish they had left the original Donington body alone! Nice writeup, Brian!

    • Brian Staff

      Thanks Jamie! I couldn’t agree with you more. Although it is still a neat car, I prefer the original configuration as well.

  2. Dolphin Member

    Definitely agree with Jamie. The owner should have left it as it was and not done a “makeover”, to use the seller’s word. Killed the good vintage ‘special’ looks and made it look like a midget race car that got a bad “makeover”. Probably killed a lot of the value, too.


  3. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Here’s another one. Nice lines, although I like the one with wire wheels better.

    • Brian Staff

      That is a whole lot easier on the eyes, than the current configuration of that Bentley.

  4. brakeservo

    Ridiculous price – a special like this should never be worth more than it would take to bang out another one! A good running Bentley chassis can be had for about $10,000 or less and that leaves a lot left for a body and you’ll still have lots of $$$ left over. By the way, I’ve owned at least four or five of them over the past 30 years.

  5. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    Tucked away in one of my buildings…….. a similar Rolls Royce

    What is cool about these,, they are right hand drive 4 speeds, but you shift with your RIGHT hand

    probably should sell it with the ’29 boattail body , as they say I am getting to old.

    • Dave at OldSchool Restorations

      .from Idaho……many years ago

      • packradt

        My brush with greatness was seeing the crusty old blue Auburn Boattail rolling chassis in the basement of a 2nd Avenue warehouse full of architectural salvage in Nashville fifteen years before the tourist district folks took over. Beautiful sweeping lines under all the crust, just like the metal in that picture.

  6. Zaphod

    Hideous thing, badly proportioned. Donington’s weren’t pretty to begin with but there was no need to hit it with the ugly stick. Value? Certainly not six figures when an original Mark VI can be had for less than half. Needs the VP of the more money than brains club for a client…

  7. Jeff Hamilton

    Echoing some of the other posters, I like the original “Donington” special bodies better. Here’s one I found for sale with lots of photos, for the hoarders (like me) :)

  8. Hitman

    Not a fan of this Bentley, there is something very wrong about that re-style (lack of style). Just like Jeff I prefer the original stance, although I do like the shortened front mud guards. Here’s one I like the look of:

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