Classic Driver Marktplatz
|Bentley R Type Continental Fastback by H.J. Mulliner|
Frank Dale & Stepsons
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|Year : 1954|
Make : Bentley
Model : R Type Continental
Coachbuilder : H.J. Mulliner
Body Type : Fastback
Colour : Shell Grey
Trim : Light Blue Leather
History : The decision was taken in 1950 to develop a Bentley motor car capable of producing high maximum speeds ideal for Continental touring on the long straight roads of Europe. The higher speeds were to be coupled with correspondingly high rates of acceleration and excellent handling. In order to achieve these lofty ambitions a tremendous amount of research and testing were conducted using quarter scale models in the Hucknall wind tunnel. Extensive testing and alterations allowed Ivan Evernden and John Blatchley of the Motor Car Division to design a body not only of exceptional style, but also of an aerodynamic shape that reduced drag and achieved excellent levels of stability even at speeds in excess of 100mph. By late summer of 1951 the drawings and scale models became reality with the creation of the prototype R Type Continental which in time became known as OLGA. Every weight saving opportunity was taken in the production of OLGA, with the majority of the car being crafted from lightweight aluminium. This included the body, window frames, bumpers and even the seat frames. In September of 1951 testing began in France under the supervision of Walter Sleator who was the managing director of Garage Franco-Britannique, the Rolls-Royce agent in Paris. Sleator was well qualified for such a task being an ex-racing driver. Following extensive testing and refinements production began in early 1952. The R Type Continental was at the time the fastest production four seater car in the world, capable of speeds of well in excess of 100mph. The Continental chassis shared many similarities with the Mk VI and R Type chassis, sharing suspension, steering and brake components. However the combination of the fitment of a high ratio back axle, the lightweight construction and the smaller sleeker body style resulted in performance that was far and beyond superior to any car Bentley had previously produced in the post war era. The chassis were assembled in Crewe with the vast majority of the 208 built then transported to London by train where they were fitted with coachwork by H.J. Mulliner of Chiswick, with all but fifteen cars fitted with their fastback bodies. The A, B and C series cars were fitted with 4.5 litre engines that displaced 4,566cc and produced 158bhp. In July of 1954 production of the D series cars began with the bore increased to 3 ¾ inches, raising the displacement to 4,877cc. Chassis number BC9D which we are currently offering for sale is one of just thirty three right hand drive examples fitted with automatic transmission. It is a car that we have supplied on numerous occasions in the past and one that we have maintained for many years. It was supplied by Frank Dale & Stepsons about four years ago in generally good condition. At this time the exterior was quite presentable whilst the interior aspects were showing signs of wear. Following a number of months of pleasurable motoring the owner at this time instructed us to carry out a full cosmetic restoration, with attention to the coachwork, bright work and interior. The car was re-painted in shell grey and all of the exterior bright work was removed, repaired as and where necessary, re-plated and then re-fitted to the car. Following a great deal of careful consideration and having seen a Bentley Cresta on display in our showrooms the owner decided to have the interior re-trimmed in the same colour scheme as the Cresta, with pale blue leather and dark blue carpets, which we thought was an excellent choice and complemented the coachwork extremely well. Colour matched seatbelts were fitted as per his instructions and all of the interior woodwork was removed, repaired where necessary and re-finished to showroom condition. The existing and very effective air conditioning unit set below the dashboard was also re-finished with new veneered panels. A state of the art stereo system has recently been fitted, with a specially crafted sliding panel in the dashboard, retaining the correct original appearance of the dashboard whilst elevating the sound quality to modern standards. The boot compartment was also re-trimmed at this time, in dark blue Wilton carpeting to match the cabin. The result of many months of work was an outstanding example of this iconic model. Having been sparingly used since the completion of the restoration works described above BC9D is still in excellent condition throughout and should be seen in person to be truly appreciated. It is fitted with rear wheel spats and also power windows, an option rarely seen on this model. It also comes complete with a full complement of large and small tools, as well as an original automatic transmission R Type Continental handbook. This beautiful motor car is checked, serviced and prepared for its next fortunate owner as per our normal policy. Stanley Sedgwick, the former president of The Bentley Drivers Club and owner of OLGA began his well known book on the subject of R Type Continentals with the following words “Few will disagree with those who consider the R Type Continental Bentley to be the most worthwhile car to come out of the Crewe factory in the post-war years.” We are certainly in agreement with his opinion and are delighted to be offering this most stylish and sought after motor car for sale at this time.
Condition : Very good condition.
Technical Data : Four speed automatic gearbox, 6 cylinder in-line configuration engine, 4.9 litres displacement, 4887cc capacity. Drum brakes servo-assisted.
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