Rooted in development work dating to 1958 under Chief Engineer Harry Grylls, who joined Rolls-Royce in 1930 and served alongside company co-founder Sir Henry Royce, the Bentley T-Series and Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow debuted in October 1965. Marking a revolution for the traditionally conservative marques, first Rolls-Royce and Bentley models with unitary construction, they also ushered in such mechanical advancements as the innovative high-pressure hydraulic system licensed from Citroën, including dual-circuit disc brakes all around and fully independent, self-leveling suspension.
Tailored to the wealthy and discerning owner-driver, the T-Series and Silver Shadow were outwardly smaller than their predecessors yet offered greater passenger room and comfort with easier access to a spacious luggage compartment. Standard factory bodywork was styled by John Blatchley and his small team at Rolls-Royce headquarters in Crewe and constructed to impeccable quality standards, hastening the inevitable end of the longstanding British custom coachbuilding industry. As with the prior Bentley ‘S’ Series and Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud lines, the T Series shared much in common with its Rolls-Royce stablemate, essentially differing only in the style of the radiator grille and fine details.
Powering the T-Series was the 6.23-liter V-8 engine introduced with the S2 in 1959, featuring an aluminum-silicon engine block, cast-iron wet cylinder liners, and aluminum alloy cylinder heads. For North American markets, power delivery was via General Motors’ robust Turbo-Hydramatic 400 three-speed automatic transmission, which became standard for all Bentley/Rolls-Royce markets from 1968 forward.
Passenger comfort was unparalleled, with the T-Series and Silver Shadow the first Rolls-Royce models offered with standard air conditioning. Luxuriously equipped and impeccably trimmed in the finest Connolly leather upholstery, these superb motorcars weighed approximately 5,000 pounds, yet were very capable performers with strong acceleration and a top speed approaching 120 miles per hour.
In contrast to the far more common Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, early T-Series Bentleys are truly rare and collectible. In addition to the definitive four-door saloon, of which just 1,703 were produced, Bentley also offered select clients the option of a long wheelbase version or coachbuilt coupes from Mulliner or James Young, built in comparatively small numbers. One of the most recognizable, elite-level luxury cars ever produced, the rare first-generation T-Series was a predictable favorite of Hollywood’s ‘‘A-List,’’ wealthy private buyers, and the flamboyant titans of 1960s/1970s business and political realms.
This handsomely presented 1967 Bentley T-Series Saloon is a rare and desirable early model, featuring pure styling with slim chrome bumpers and the elegant early-style wood dash panel. Finished in light blue over a well-preserved dark gray Connolly leather interior, it is a well-kept example with a charming character earned through regular enjoyment. Glossy paintwork accentuates the Bentley’s straight, well-defined bodywork, with only some minor imperfections and edge chipping noted to the paint finish. The rich wooden interior accents remain lovely in appearance overall, notwithstanding some age-appropriate cracks found in the lacquer finish, and switchgear and controls remain correct. Newer blue carpets subtly complement the Bentley’s visually striking all-blue livery and the bluish-gray leather. In addition to standard air conditioning, features and options include a factory AM radio, steel sliding sunroof, and thoughtful picnic trays to the rear. The boot is nicely detailed in the proper black carpeting.
Attractive throughout and offered in sound mechanical order, this Bentley just received a complete overhaul of the braking system including all-new hydraulics, with the work performed at a cost nearing $7,000. By virtue of its excellence and minuscule production numbers in comparison to its Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow companion, this early and very attractive 1967 Bentley T-Series Saloon will surely deliver a wonderful touring experience and a fitting entry to Rolls-Royce club tours and other worthy events.
As collectors have begun to take serious interest in the first-generation T-Series/Silver Shadow, this lovely, early-production Bentley T-Series Saloon represents a truly rare and exciting opportunity to acquire one of the rarest variants of the venerable series.
Offers welcome and trades considered
Stock number 7387
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