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Franay Bentley Mark VI teches US$1.7 million


April 2, 2006

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April 3, 2006 It is one of the most visually arresting automobiles in existence and it's no surprise that the car fetched $1,728,000 at auction on the weekend. This 1947 Bentley Mark VI Cabriolet, with custom coachworks by Franay was created exclusively for the 1947 Paris Auto Show and is widely considered to be the most unique and valuable postwar Bentley on the planet. The interior is adorned in 100 percent frog skin, bringing an air of extreme customization to the already impressive vehicle. The one-of-a-kind multiple "Best In Show" Award winner was part of a remarkable collection from prominent collector Gary Wales (pictured) that rolled across the auction block during the fourth annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Collector Car Event at the South Florida Expo Center from March 30 through April 1, 2006.

The Franay Bentley Mark VI Cabriolet has been a featured car in publications such as Robb Report and is a Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance class champion.

Also in the collection was a 1919 racecar, nicknamed "La Bestioni," or "The Beast of Turin," that features a massive 14 liter 6-cylinder engine. This custom racecar actually rides on the chassis of an American La France fire truck. Built with the sole purpose of going faster than anything on the road, this two-man racer is completely devoid of any creature comforts. It's a perfect addition to any racing enthusiast's private collection.

Possibly the most outrageous of the collection was the Bentley Royale, a custom project car that incorporates parts from every series of Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars of the early 1900s. A true hot rod, the Royale is powered by dual six liter straight eights configured into a V to make one unique 16-cylinder monster. Its chassis is from a 1938 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, while the body combines the grace of a Sedanca De Ville with the fenders of a Phantom 1.

The final custom Bentley is known simply as the "Aero Car." Loosely based on a 1930 Blue Train Bentley, the Aero Car incorporates a supercharged straight eight into its classic styling. Modern comforts have been added including air conditioning, power steering, power brakes and an overdrive manual transmission. Like the Royale, the Aero Car incorporates two radiators.

Other prices fetched by the Bentleys will be added to this article shortly.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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