The launch of the relatively compact Silver Shadow and Bentley T-Type in 1965 was a major step forward.
Introducing an all new monocoque design with a much lower roof line, self-levelling independent suspension, dual-circuit servo disc brakes all round, and a 4-speed (later GM400 3-speed) automatic gearbox. Luxury never goes out of style, however, and the cars were as sumptuous as ever inside with acres of walnut, Wilton and leather and electric seats and windows as standard.
Although the cars are more or less identical, the Bentley T looks more dynamic than the Shadow because the radiator is lower and smoother with a more streamlined shape. Otherwise it is only the badging that sets the cars apart – although the Bentley is far more exclusive as only 1,703 T1 saloons were made compared to over ten times that number of Shadows.
First registered in September 1975, this T1 appears to have covered a mere 32,095 miles from new. Purchased by the Vendor in 2005 it has recently received a smart, fresh coat of metallic brown paint. The brakes have been rebuilt along with the carburettor. Having been little used over the past couple of years it would benefit from some new carpets, and will need attention to the vinyl roof. On the day of our visit the Vendor was in the process of reassembling the car, so the rear bumper, boot lock, wipers and other chrome parts will be refitted by the day of the sale.
With 3 old MOTs on file, the earliest being from 2005 when it had covered 32,037 miles it appears to have only covered 58 miles in the past 13 years! The Vendor assured us it will have a fresh MOT by the day of the sale, so the new owner will be ready to hit the road again in this rare but useable T1.