Bentley is recovering the first T-series

Bentley is recovering its first T-series, representing a model that has kept the automaker alive for almost 15 years. The project is expected to be completed in 2023, at which time the first T-series will join Bentley’s heritage collection, the automaker said in a press release.

Launched in 1965, the T-Series was the first Bentley to have a unibody design instead of a body-on-frame construction. And where before Bentley customers would dedicate Coachbilt bodywork, each car left the factory with the same sheet metal.

Bentley was owned by Rolls-Royce at the time, and the T-Series sedan was originally a badge-engineered version of the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. The two cars looked virtually identical, except for the brand-specific grille and hood ornaments.

The first Bentley T-series

The first Bentley T-series

The two models share a hydraulic self-leveling suspension licensed from Citroen and a 225-hp 6.25-liter V-8 that was launched in 1959 on the Bentley S2. According to Bentley, at the time, it had the highest specific output of any production engine, at 2.7 pounds per hp.

The Pushroad engine pushes the T-Series at a maximum speed of 0-62 miles per hour and 115 miles per hour in 10.9 seconds. Production continued until 2020, with repetition of this engine, further displacement, electronic fuel injection and turbocharging.

A total of 1,868 examples of first-generation T-series have been created, most of them sedans. A coupe was introduced in 1966, with a convertible a year later, but the combined production of these two body styles was only 41 cars. A second generation version, known as the T2, was launched in 1977 and was in production until 1980.

The first Bentley T-series

The first Bentley T-series

The car, currently under recovery, was built on September 28, 1965. Finished in Shell Gray with a blue leather interior, it appeared at the 1965 Paris Motor Show and was put to experimental work by Bentley.

Recovery began in October 2016, when a team of Bentley apprentices began trim removal and body reconstruction. Recovery work was put on hold when Bentley focused on introducing new model slates, but only recently resumed. The engine was launched for the first time in 15 years, and according to Bentley, both it and the transmission (a general motor-designed hydraulic unit) were in good condition.

Once the recovery is complete, the first T-Series will join Bentley’s heritage collection, providing a more complete picture of the automaker’s long history.

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