A contact of mine has acquired a MPW two door, which has a bit of an ID crisis. Is it possible to ID a motorcar without referring to the bulkhead chassis plate? Where can one look to find a body number?
Thanks...chassis plate is Bentley. Car is now full Rolls-Royce spec. RREC have no record of build for Bentley MPW with chassis number on plate and the number sequence refers to T1 Saloon???? Why anyone would convert a rare Bentley MPW 2 door to Rolls-Royce spec is beyond me?
The "Rolls-Royce-ification" of Bentleys is not at all uncommon (relatively speaking, anyway). RR was generally worth more, and those not in the rarified world of RR/Bentley as a passion generally didn't care so long as the exterior presented as Rolls-Royce. Completely de-Bentley-fying is an incredibly tedious and expensive process.
But this car may very well be an insanely rare full-Crewe Bitsa - bits of Bentley, bits of Rolls-Royce. It would be exceedingly rare for someone to swap an MPW body between chassis.
As I said previously. The RREC archive have no record of the car but they do have records of a T1 saloon bearing the same chassis number but different suffix. So the bitza theory doesn’t work. And according to RREC - R-R never duplicated numbers 🤔 My friend will be looking for these other number locations.
Having been around classics for over 40 years I realise that putting the R-R grill on an old Bentley was relatively common but not on a MPW 2 Door. 😱 Although anything was possible back in the 60’s.
What do you mean by different suffix? There should be no suffixes on the VIN, the VIN (chassis number) will be three letters followed by four or five numbers. What is the VIN? Are you a member of the RROC? If not I can check my RROC directory to see if the number shows up in it. On the actual registration document, (is that a V5 in the UK?) is it registered as a Bentley or a Rolls-Royce?
Suffix: As in SBH for the model/Marque/home or export..etc
I am a RREC member and the club archivist tells me that a T1 MPW 2 door saloon with the chassis number displayed on the bulkhead plaque, does not exist. No record, no invoice but a T1 4-Door, with the same chassis numbers but obviously different suffix, does have very limited paperwork in the way of a single order sheet and the original invoice.
Well something is certainly weird then. It will be interesting to see if the block and subframe numbers match. One wonders if a T1 was pulled from the line and converted by MPW but then they didn't bother to correct the chassis plate, seems unlikely though. How low is the number?
If you go by the 4 numbers, it dates it to 1966/67. But the number on the chassis number plaque, appears to be irrelevant, because, according to the factory records, it refers to and SBH T1 4 door saloon.
Well, actually having the full chassis number would be a good starting point. Unless someone cleverly replaced he firewall plaque, this car started life as a home market Bentley T1, and looking for the engine number stamping and the chassis number stamping (usually on a metal strip on one of the damper towers) will either confirm a match or show a mismatch.
About14 years ago I was able to have a friend of mine in the UK get me ownership records from the DVLA for SRH33576, which somehow made its way away from home (far from home here in Virginis) and got converted to LHD in the process. But if you are unable to trace the ownership history, and the car didn't leave Crewe as it is now, and Hunt House does not have any records on it in its current state, the mystery will likely never be solved.
No chance of any help from DVLA at the moment. It took them from the first week in March to end of August to inspect and register a MKII Jaguar I imported from Monteray Bay. Covid 19 is slowing everything to a snails pace. Except Amazon 🤔
The car has a CBH prefix for a 2 door - Bentley - Home market car.....Not a T1 saloon. But there is very little history for the T1 Saloon identified by the number, if not the prefix. But there is no record at all of the car as a T1 MPW 2 door.
Let us hope my friend can find the other numbers.....
Ah OK then the VIN prefix is correct for a coachbuilt Bentley home market car so it is sounding like first, someone has made a clerical error listing it as a saloon instead of a coupe. And second, someone has converted it to Rolls-Royce spec. Well worth putting it back to Bentley spec obviously. Perhaps it was at some stage of completion as a saloon when it was pulled for conversion to a coupe. Then the paperwork was lost and only the original for the saloon survived. I bet the subframe and engine numbers correspond to the bulkhead plate.
Why is the chassis number on the bulkhead a state secret, along with the others (if any) found elsewhere? For those who are really good historical researchers, having the full chassis number gives them valuable information about where to look.
CBH is definitely a home market Bentley coupe, but where in the production series does it fall?
The numbers are irrelevant, because they are prefixed by SRH.... in RREC Archive. Which makes it a T1 saloon and the Factory never duplicated numbers. The chap who owns the car does not want the numbers available to all and sundry....I am just trying to help a friend find an alternative method of identifying his car. And yes, it would be good to put it back to original spec. If we could only find out what that was 🤔 Hopefully the alternative number locations will solve the mystery ?