Bentley T-series

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Bentley T-Series
Bentley T-1.JPG
1970 Bentley T1 Four Door Saloon
Overview
ManufacturerBentley Motors (1931) Limited, Crewe, Cheshire
Production1965–1980
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size luxury car
Body style4-door saloon [1]
2-door saloon [1]
2-door convertible [1]
LayoutFR layout
Platformmonocoque
RelatedRolls-Royce Silver Shadow
Rolls-Royce Camargue
Rolls-Royce Corniche/Bentley Continental
Powertrain
Engine6230 (from 1971 - 6750) cc Rolls-Royce - Bentley L Series V8 engine
Transmission4-speed automatic transmission
/ 3-speed automatic transmission (GM400)
Dimensions
Wheelbase119.5 in (3,040 mm)
Length203.5 in (5,170 mm)
Width71 in (1,800 mm)
Height59.75 in (1,518 mm)
Kerb weight2,103 kg (4,636 lb)
Chronology
PredecessorBentley S3
SuccessorBentley Mulsanne

The Bentley T-Series is a luxury automobile produced by Bentley Motors Limited in the United Kingdom from 1965 to 1980. It was announced and displayed for the first time at the Paris Motor Show on 5 October 1965 as a Bentley-badged version of the totally redesigned Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow.

The Bentley T series was available as a four-door saloon and as a long wheelbase four-door saloon. A small number of two-door saloons were built with coachwork by James Young and Mulliner Park Ward and a two-door convertible with coachwork by Mulliner Park Ward was introduced in September 1967.

Design[edit]

The T series was the first unibodied Bentley, and was totally different from its predecessor the S series.[2] It featured a new steel and aluminium monocoque body with subframes to mount the engine and suspension. While smaller overall, it had more passenger room, particularly in the rear compartment, yet more luggage space. Overall the car was 7 inches shorter, 5 inches lower, ​3 12 inches narrower, and 150 lbs. lighter than the S.

Because of being fitted with the traditional round-shouldered "Bentley" style front grille - its sole material styling difference from the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow - it was also 5 inches lower at bonnet height, giving it a slightly more assertive look.

The 'T' also featured independent suspension on all four wheels with automatic height control according to loading. Other major improvements included disc brakes on all wheels (with a triplicate hydraulic braking system patented from Citroen that also supplied pressure for the self leveling suspension); new and lighter power steering, improved automatic transmission, eight-way adjustable electric front seats, and a larger fuel tank.

The engine received a redesigned cylinder head that allowed a speed increase to 118 mph.[2]

In October 1966, the T saloon's pretax 'list price' of GBP 5425 was GBP 50 less than the Silver Shadow.[3]

Image[edit]

The formerly more sporting image of Bentley motor cars differing from Rolls-Royces was long gone and far from being renewed by the time the Bentley T was introduced. Effectively, the two were indistinguishable.[4]

T2[edit]

The T was upgraded to the "T2" in 1977, which featured rack and pinion steering, improved air conditioning, rubber-faced bumpers, a new fascia and for Non USA Spec. cars a front air dam. Bosch CIS Fuel Injection was introduced for late 1979 and 1980 models for the US and other markets, similarly to the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II.

The T2 was discontinued in 1980.

Production of Bentley T-Series[edit]

Model [5][6] Period [5][6] Units [5][6]
Bentley T1 1965–1977 1703
Bentley T1 LWB 1971–1976 9
Bentley T1 two door saloon 1966–1971 114 *
Bentley T1 Pininfarina coupé 1968 1
Bentley T1 convertible 1967–1971 41
Bentley T2 1977–1980 558
Bentley T2 LWB 1977–1980 10

Note: 15 examples of the Two Door Saloon were built with coachwork by James Young and the remainder with coachwork by Mulliner Park Ward.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Michael Sedgwick & Mark Gillies, A-Z of Cars 1945–1970, page 32
  2. ^ a b Rolls-Royce Drop Conservative Mask And Unveil Silver Shadow At Paris Motor Show From Our Motoring Correspondent-PARIS, OCT. 5. The Times, Wednesday, 6 October 1965; pg. 9; Issue 56445; col E
  3. ^ Cardew, Basil (1966). Daily Express Review of the 1966 Motor Show. London: Beaverbrook Newspapers Ltd.
  4. ^ Archie Vicar, Motorist's Illustrated Digest, Dec 1965
  5. ^ a b c d Bentley T1 (1965 - 1977), www.rrab.com Retrieved on 15 June 2014
  6. ^ a b c Bentley T2 (1977 - 1980), www.rrab.com Retrieved on 15 June 2014