Bentley T Pininfarina Coupé

October 1968, CBH4033, Brewster Green

This Pininfarina-styled Bentley T is known as the 'Coupé Speziale'. The design was the work of Paolo Martin, a gifted stylist who had started his career with Michelotti in 1960. He moved to Bertone in 1967 and the following year was appointed chief of Pininfarina's styling department where he would be responsible for innovative designs such as the Ferrari Dino Competizione and 512S Modulo, Alfa Romeo P33 and Lancia Beta Monte Carlo.
The Coupé Speziale was commissioned by the wealthy British entrepreneur and motor car aficionado James E Hanson, later Lord Hanson, who first approached Sergio Pininfarina with his proposal in 1965. The Coupé Speziale would turn out to be the progenitor, not of a new Bentley Continental, but of the Rolls-Royce Camargue, its resemblance to which is unmistakable. The Coupé Speziale was exhibited on Pininfarina's stand at the 1968 Turin, Paris and London Motor Shows before Lord Hanson took delivery, via H R Owen, in May 1969. Despite his favourable deal with Pininfarina, he still paid £14,000 for the Bentley, roughly double the cost of a two-door T-Series by Mulliner Park Ward.
The original design was provided with chrome bumpers and flat wheel discs.

Between 16th June 1978 and 20th November 1979, the Bentley was updated for Lord Hanson to T2/Silver Shadow II specifications by J D Barclay Ltd (Jack Barclay) with the three-speed GM automatic transmission, rubber bumpers and later-type hubcaps. The steering and suspension were revised and updated also, and the car stripped and repainted in its original colour of Brewster Green. The cost of this refurbishment totalled £20,451.82. Some time later, Hanson sold the car through Ivor Gordon of Frank Dale & Stepsons for £225,000. This was reported in the London press as "the most expensive used car ever".

In May 1989 the Bentley passed to a Japanese collector and remained in a private museum in Japan for a number of years, since when it went to the United States and has had a further four owners.
In 2010 it was for sale at Frank Dale in London.

In 2015 it was auctioned at Bonhams.


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