Woodham Mortimer

1949 Bentley Pininfarina Drophead Coupe


  • Year: 1949
  • Configuration: RHD
  • Price: POA - please call for pricing


The ONLY Bentley Pininfarina Drophead Coupe ever built - and it is absolutely beautiful! A fantastic piece of Automotive History.

In late 1947, the journey of 'B435CD' commenced when Dr. Willi Spieler, residing at Seefeldstrasse 19, Zurich, Switzerland, visited the Pininfarina works. His purpose was to commission a distinctive drophead coupé with alloy coachwork, tailored for a right-hand drive Bentley Mark VI chassis. The bespoke creation was intended for delivery to the Swiss Bentley agent, Garage de l’Anthernee, Chemin Malombre, Geneva.

Dr. Spieler's meticulous specifications included 11 modifications to the chassis, meticulously documented in the build sheets. The engine, a standard 4,257cc six-cylinder unit, boasted enhanced Bentley specifications with twin SU carburettors. The resulting 'B435CD' featured bespoke aluminium coachwork, rendering it lighter and performance-enhanced compared to the standard steel-bodied Bentley sedan.

After chassis testing was completed on May 16th, 1948, 'B435CD' left the Bentley works on May 21st, shipped on June 15th, 1948, passing through Dover, Dunkirk, and finally reaching Turin.

Believed to be the only drophead coupé ever built by Pininfarina on the Bentley MkVI chassis, 'B435CD' bore the personal touch of Batista ‘Pinin’ Farina, who personally created this glorious Bentley. His son Sergio and grandson Paulo confirmed 'B435CD' as one of their legendary creator’s personal favourites.

The car made its debut at the 1949 Geneva Salon, showcased alongside fixed-head coupés. Garage de l’Anthernee delivered it to Dr. Spieler on or about April 27th, 1949, with license registration 'BM 1949,' and it graced the streets of Zurich for several years.

In the late 1950s, the Bentley disappeared until tracked down by Montreal antique dealer Ralph Hemmi. Following Dr. Spieler's passing, Mr. Hemmi endeavoured to acquire the neglected 'B435CD' and imported it to Montreal. Despite intending to restore the car himself, he dismantled it without proper documentation.

The dormant vehicle, along with its parts, was rescued by the current owner, Dr. Philip Chartrand of Westmount, who embarked on a monumental restoration. Facing significant challenges, Dr. Chartrand, took the car to ATT Auto Restoration, who undertook a high quality full restoration on the car.

After a series of events, including chemical reactions between the steel frame and aluminium coachwork, 'B435CD' underwent multiple restorations. No expense was spared to return it to its original beauty, completed in 1992.

The car has since participated in numerous motoring events, winning accolades, and displaying its magnificence. Offered for sale in 2005, it is reported as an excellent driver with meticulous attention to both cosmetic and mechanical details.

Documentation, including Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club Certification, Bentley factory build sheets, and a myriad of photographs, accompanies 'B435CD.' This unique opportunity allows enthusiasts to acquire an iconic automobile, marrying the charisma of Bentley and Pininfarina. 'B435CD' is undoubtedly worthy of the closest inspection.

Car Specification includes; 4,257 CC F-Head Inline Six-Cylinder Engine, Twin SU Carburetors, 4-Speed Manual Transmission, Independent Front Suspension; Live Rear Axle and Power-Assisted All-Wheel Drum Bakes.

The car today is in superb condition & featured at the 2024 Retromobile Paris with JD Classics.


-1992 'Best in Show Post War' - Rolls Royce Owners Club

-1993 Winner of Pinin Farina 'Choice' Award - Pebble Beach Concours d' Elegance

-1993 Class Winner - Pebble Beach Concours d' Elegance

-1995 Exposition "Moving Beauty", Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

-1996 Class Winner - Meadowbrook Concours

-1997 Best in Show - British Invasion Concours

-1995, 1996 & 1997 - Invited to Bagatelle Concours, France

-1998 Louis Vuitton China Run, China

- 006 'Best in Class - Pebble Beach Consours d' Elegance

-2009 Best in Class - Concours d' Elegance Deauville

-2010 2nd Price Uniques MAC – Fireneze

Not shown publicly since 2010.