Bentley T-series

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Bentley T-Series
Bentley T-1.JPG
1970 Bentley T1 Four Door Saloon
ManufacturerBentley Motors (1931) Limited, Crewe, Cheshire
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size luxury car
Body style4-door saloon [1]
2-door saloon [1]
2-door convertible [1]
LayoutFR layout
RelatedRolls-Royce Silver Shadow
Rolls-Royce Camargue
Rolls-Royce Corniche/Continental
Engine6230 (from 1971 - 6750) cc Rolls-Royce - Bentley L Series V8 engine
Transmission4-speed automatic transmission
/ 3-speed automatic transmission (GM400)
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)
PredecessorBentley S3
SuccessorBentley Mulsanne

The Bentley T-Series is an automobile which was 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 chassis-less 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.

Point of difference[edit]

The Bentley T-Series was differentiated from the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow by its simpler and lighter front grille. In October 1966, the T saloon's pretax 'list price' of GBP 5375 undercut that of the Rolls-Royce by GBP 50.[2]


The Bentley, being technically an identical twin of the Rolls-Royce, seems to have been bought mostly by owners desiring a little more understatement.

The formerly more sporting image of Bentley motor cars differing from Rolls-Royces was gone by the time the Silver Shadow/Bentley T was introduced and thus couldn't motivate buyers any more. "For a while Bentley´s sporting character has been as absent and as lamented as [deceased racing driver] Mr Seaman. The last batches of Bentleys have, to be rather frank, been a little hard to distinguish from their Rolls-Royce stablemates" was the opinion of Archie Vicar in the Motorist´s Illustrated Digest;[3] the same correspondent gave the car a favourable review, especially in comparison to its Rolls-Royce stablemate.[4]

The outward appearance of a Bentley T is slightly more dynamic because the bonnet design is a few centimetres lower and the radiator shell shape with its rounded edges is smoother. In addition, the badging on wheel covers, boot lid and gauges featured Bentley motifs rather than Rolls-Royce ones.

Fundamental redesign[5][edit]

The T series is the first Bentley (or Rolls-Royce) without a separate chassis, it is totally different from its predecessor the S series.

  • new steel and aluminum monocoque body with subframes to mount the engine and suspension, more space inside but smaller outside, more passenger room, particularly in the rear compartment, more luggage space
    dimensions: - radiator grille 5 inches lower and 2 inches wider; the whole car - 7 inches shorter, 5 inches lower and ​3 12 inches narrower
  • independent suspension on all four wheels with automatic height control according to loading

Other major improvements:

  • 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, weight reduced 150 lbs, larger fuel tank
  • Engine is the least changed unit but a re-designed cylinder head allows a speed increase to 118 mph[5]

1977 upgrade[edit]

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

The T1 was manufactured from 1965 to 1977 and the T2 was made from 1977 to 1980.

Production of Bentley T-Series[edit]

Model [6][7] Period [6][7] Units [6][7]
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.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Michael Sedgwick & Mark Gillies, A-Z of Cars 1945–1970, page 32
  2. ^ Cardew, Basil (1966). Daily Express Review of the 1966 Motor Show. London: Beaverbrook Newspapers Ltd.
  3. ^ Motorist's Illustrated Digest, Dec 1965
  4. ^ Motorist´s Illustrated Digest, 1965, cited at
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ a b c d Bentley T1 (1965 - 1977), Retrieved on 15 June 2014
  7. ^ a b c Bentley T2 (1977 - 1980), Retrieved on 15 June 2014