1953 STEEL RE-BODIED BENTLEY ”SULTAN”
Unfinished steel re-bodied one-of-a-kind streamliner. Former Editor of CAR CRAFT and HOT ROD Magazines, Terry Cook of DELAHAYE USA first saw Ronald Benach’s 1948 Type 175s Delahaye with Jacques Saoutchik coachbuilt body, restored by Fran Roxas, at Pebble Beach 2000 (see photo of of turquoise Delahaye with white top).
Inspired, Cook hired Art Center grad and Lincoln designer John Caswell to create a modern day interpretation of a big, fully pontoon-fendered car as a tribute to Jacques Saoutchik. It was dubbed project SULTAN out of respect for the many cars famed Russian coach builder Saoutchik created in the 1920‘s and 30‘s for Kings and Potentates (some of the most beautiful and most expensive cars in the world.) Photoshop renderings show what the completed car will look like. Grey and yellow primered steel body photos show what it looks like now.
Starting with his scale drawings, John worked with pro clay modeler Todd Storrs in Detroit to build a 1/4 scale clay model (see two pix of clay model) which was then digitized. Working with Steve Wilkonski of Revolution Design in Detroit to create the car digitally, a rapid protptype model was made (see silver model). A wood body buck was built at a yacht builder in Thailand (see photo). Over several years a steel body was then hammered from that buck by Car Kolor in Saatahip, Thailand.
The steel body was shipped to San Bernardino, CA where Little Louie Check of Red Lizard Molding Co. hand formed the ornate smaller decorative exterior brass body trim shown. Mike Vetter of Mico, FL fabricated three of the five foot long taillights to fit in the brass for the rear fenders and center of the trunklid (see two pictures). The car is now in master panelbeater Tommy Caruso’s shop in Plainfield, NJ having the larger brass exterior front fender trim, the grille, the windshield frame, trunk and interior sculpting done.
Most of the preliminary bodywork has been done. The color photo-shop renderings of SULTAN attached show a variety of possible color schemes with either chrome or gold plated exterior trim. Customer picks the final colors.
The car is being built as a re-bodied Bentley with title and matching VIN plate for the firewall so it can be registered as a Bentley. Brown’s Metal Mods in Port Leyden, NY started with a 1953 Bentley chassis, stripped it to bare metal and added a modern independent front suspension with disc brakes and late model Ford 9-inch rear using coil over suspension. Brown’s completed the chassis, mounted the body on the frame and did the bodywork. Firewall, full floorboards, and front and rear wheel tubs were fabricated and installed.
We wanted something totally unique so we had John Caswell design an asymmetrical interior with a single driver’s seat and a wrap-around couch The trunk compartment will contain custom 3-piece fitted luggage in the front portion (see two pix of styrafoam luggage mockups) with a hidden space tire well in the floor.
The car has a new old stock B80 Mark Five Rolls Royce/Bentley straight eight engine (never run, still in the crate) and rebuilt Bentley/Rolls Royce automatic transmission. It includes five wheels and wide whitewall tires.
The photoshop SULTAN speedboat shown is obviously a joke but we could make one to match the car with an inboard or outboard motor easily enough as we have the digital plans for the car.
DELAHAYE USA would like to complete the project for a new owner. We have been working on this car since the last century! This is an enormous car over 18 feet long. Easily the most spectacular undertaking of all the cars designed and created by www.delahayeusa.com. 201 400 5528. $154,000