Harry Rose 4 seater tourer Derby Bentley body tub

Harry Rose 4 seater tourer Derby Bentley body tub

Whilst on our bi annual visit to Beaulieu in 2010 (I think) I came across this mould for a four seater tourer.

it wasn’t well shown and had many parts to classic cars placed on it, however I could see it resembled a Lemans style body, I made an enquiry to the seller who said he thought it was for a a Bentley or a Riley but he really wasn’t sure, the asking price was £1000, so I said I’d give it some thought and come back later in the day.

later in the day I went back to the stall, it was still there, I said I was interested but could he deliver? I said I’m in a VW Passat, he said he couldn’t deliver but if I took it today I could have it for a bit less! So as you can see the deal was done and I happily drove back from Southampton with it strapped to the roof.


These bodies were made by Harry Rose for the Derby built cars and were probably the start of the later designed glass bodies for the Crewe built Mk6 and R Tyoe cars.
There is a reference to this body on page 162 of  Ray Roberts first edition of Bentley Specials and Special Bentleys
the body is a replica of a VDP tourer.

Ray Roberts states that only one maybe two were made from this mould and it was thought that the mould was destroyed by Harry Rose, gladly it wasn’t, Ray says it’s a shame because there were plenty of rough old Derby’s around in the 1950s.

vehicles referenced are

chassis B55FC

reg DPF 396


it says no other body exist from this mould.

I, at the time of purchasing this mould also owned a Derby sports saloon with a delightfully ropey Park Ward body that was cracked in many places and the ash frame was severely rotted out in the boot area.

So I decided to source a local company to make me a fibreglass body from this mould.
I found a firm only a mile away to make the tub and waited a few weeks, the three pictures show the tub on my Derby chassis.
I then received requests for 3 more bodies.
two were made and collected by separate owners one being my brother Bill for his Derby which came from the same stable as my car.

some months went by and I paid the company a visit to see the progress on the third body, but to my dismay the firm was shutdown and although fibreglass companies are generally messy and moulds littered everywhere, this place was spotless with not a sign it was ever a fibreglass workshop at all, I made several enquires at local firms and was told the man had gone into receivership and all the moulds were taken to the tip! I was so angry and couldn’t believe this had happened I made more enquires at the building next door and was told someone bought all the usable moulds.
I placed an advertisement on the internet and local paper to try to locate the lost/stolen Bentley mould, I added myself to some fibreglass pages on Facebook and scoured EBay calling all the people selling fibreglass bodies for cars asking them to keep an eye open.
a couple of years went by and I was contacted by a gentleman in Northampton who had a Derby Bentley along with an R type Bentley both for sale the Derby had an unfinished fibreglass tub fitted to it.

on the actual day I was travelling to see these cars I had a phone call from a gentleman who was parked outside my house.

He asked if I was interested in a vintage Bentley body mould for fibre glass bodies 😮.

He was the son of the gentleman who was building the fibreglass bodies for me with my mould, his father had passed away a couple of years previous so he decided to take the valuable moulds and put them into storage, his storage compound was literally 200 yards away from my own storage yard.

luckily for me Noels father had begun the third body and it was still inside the mould.

we agreed a price for the work done and a finders fee so I was reunited with the rare mould.
I still have it.

the third body I had made went to a gentleman in Poland for his Mk6 special that I supplied a modified Chassis to.



9 Responses

  1. Zeke stringer says:

    Hi there
    I was wondering if you would be interested in having another body made in this mould sometime to sell to me. Good to see you have your mould back. Send me an email zrstringer@gmail.com

    • Anthony says:

      Quite possibly, is it for a Derby chassis that you want it for?

      • Zeke Stringer says:

        Hi Anthony
        Thanks for responding
        I will be making a scratch built car that resembles a 4 1/2 litre blower. It will be powered by a straight 8 Rolls-Royce engine. I am not overly familiar with the changes to chassis through the years but can be reasonably adaptable. I plan to stick to standard 10’10” wheelbase but may have to adapt slightly to suit longer engine I have some drawings and dimensions that can just be read that I’m basing my plan off. I would fabricate the firewall and floor here to best accommodate my engine and transmission. I am based in New Zealand and can handle all shipping from my end that doesn’t scare me at all. There is no rush on this but I am very seriously interested. Could you send me an email with some more details and cost estimates please

        Many thanks

  2. Andreas Zimmermann says:

    Hi Anthony,
    In Germany I was offered a Bentley 3.5l with a brass plate with the text “BODY BY THE LATE HARRY ROSE”. The name R.EMBERSON is engraved on the other side. I don’t know my way around that well. Do you have any idea?
    Many thanks

  3. Sarah Smith says:

    Hi i am restoring a RR20, chassis and engine done. Please could i enquire about buting a body. This was a project of my Dads!


  4. Brian Sinfield says:

    Hello Anthony,

    We are in the colonies; Canada actually, and are building a Bentley special on a 1953 RHD chassis.

    Any details you could supply on this body would be a major step forward for our project.

    Is it still possible to get one of these bodies,


    • Anthony says:

      Hi Brian,
      Harry Rose bodies are available, but I would consider a bespoke handmade body, it ads value to the car and much more pleasing to the eye.

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