Bring Back My Bentley: Rare-Car Restoration Using Exact’s Scanning Technology
CINCINNATI, OH — Johan Kars is quite an interesting fellow. An inventor of a Catalytic Abatement System for Organic Solvent Emissions, Johan is also an accomplished pilot and an overall helpful guy — having reengineered and improved upon the waffle irons for his friend’s breakfast restaurant.
And it’s only natural, with a name like Kars, that he’d become a collector of classic automobiles.
Acquiring a 1951 Bentley — the MKVI H.J. Mulliner Lightweight Saloon Coupe, to be exact — Johan sought to restore the bumper of the vehicle, which had been damaged in 1969 during a bad parking attempt. Only seven of these vehicles were made, so bumpers for this car are not all that easy to come by.
Enter Exact Metrology, with its non-contact scanners able to capture precise data about the existing bumper and rear-end of the vehicle. The Bentley’s bumper can be remanufactured, using its data, to be just as it was in 1951.
For car enthusiasts, the story of this vehicle is a good one. In 1951, H.J. Mulliner produced only seven MKVI H.J. Mulliner Lightweight Saloon Coupes. The car was originally exhibited on the H.J. Mulliner stand at the Earl’s Court Motor Show in October 1951. Being an MD series, it is one of the first of the 4.5 liter versions of the car, which were introduced that year. The coachwork is a rare two-door aluminum body with a hood that stretched an extra 3 inches, an enhancement to the classic, flowing lines.These Bentleys were in high demand and went all over the world. The original owners of the seven cars included H.R.H. Princess Faiza of Egypt, Baron Jules de Koenigswarter of Mexico, Antenor Patino of France and Henry Ford II of the U.S.
The vehicle Johan Kars currently owns was commissioned by Magnus S. Swenson, who resided on Wall Street in New York, and was delivered to Magnus in November 1951. In 1953, the car was sold to Martin Block, a famous radio host, living in New Jersey, who died in 1967. The car was then driven on occasion by Block’s mistress, until her son locked the car in a garage in 1969 following a bad parking attempt. A rudimentary repair was done to the rear fenders, but some damage remained.
The car has sat garaged since then, until recently.
Seeking to restore his precious purchase, Kars contacted Exact Metrology to begin the process of reconstructing the car’s bumper. And Exact was well-prepared and eager to help.
Exact's portable NDI Scan System, complete with the handheld laser scanner was ideal for fast, non-contact digitization of physical components. The scanning technician was able to quickly and accurately collect 3D data about the Bentley’s rear end and existing fenders.
The NDI Scan System is a productive, field-proven tool. Its technicians were able to orient the ScanTRAK in all six degrees of freedom (6DOF) without concerns that the beam will break and with no mechanical restrictions. The system has a large measurement volume that eliminates the need for time-consuming data capture,
Once the data was collected, Exact returned to its facility to complete the modeling. Using Geomagic Studio 3D Reverse Engineering Software, which converts 3D scan data into CAD models, Exact was able to create the following 3D model of the Bentley’s fender.
This data can now be utilized to reverse engineer the bumper, creating an exact replica of a part that hasn’t been made since 1951. And Exact Metrology, successfully, has assisted Kars to bring his Bentley back to life.