To understand the Bentley T-Series, you have to put yourself in the right frame of mind. Back in 1965, when the car first debuted, Bentley was still offering re-badged Rolls-Royce models as their own products. Because of this, the T-Series was nearly identical to the Silver Shadow. And customers were well aware of this fact, meaning that which car they bought came down to which grille design and badge they preferred.
A Silver Shadow Clone
Just like its Rolls sibling, the T-Series was notable for its unitary construction. This setup offered more space inside for occupants to stretch out than the previous body-on-frame designs. Likewise, the Bentley shared the 6.75-litre V8 from the Silver Shadow parts bin. And, of course, the 4-wheel independent suspension was a shared trait as well. In all, both models offered more space and comfort than ever before. What’s not to love?
So, what sets the T-Series apart? In the past, Bentley buyers were attracted to the brand for its sportier, more athletic offerings. But this was no longer the case in 1965. The main thing buyers were swayed by was the badge itself. Those who found the “B” brand more attractive were likely looking for a little less “bling” and a little more understated elegance.
Another difference was the grille design. The grille design on the Bentley T-Series sits lower and is more rounded than the regal Rolls-Royce design. The bonnet sits lower as well, making for an altogether smoother-looking vehicle. The average person, however, would struggle to spot the differences between the models, so we are really just talking about minor points here.
T2 and Legacy
The car received extensive updates for 1977, earning the “T2” nickname. Bentley would go on to make roughly 550 of these new models through 1980, the T-Series’ last year. Combined with over 1700 of the so-called “T1” models, the T-Series did well, although its sales paled in comparison to the Silver Shadows’.