Bentley Continental Sports Saloon - the definitive book from Palawan

Fifty years ago, the Bentley Continental Sports Saloon was launched to transport discerning motorists across Europe in high-speed comfort. It was the fastest and most expensive four-seat car in the world, with a list of owners that read like a Who’s Who of the 1950s. Today, the venerable age of this car is hard to comprehend, as the clean aerodynamic shape looks many years younger. Yet, half a century is a significant anniversary and a most appropriate time to summarise our research and publish this tribute to the Continental.

An introduction by Christian Hueber and David Sulzberger to their new book on the R-Type Continental published by the Palawan Press

Our efforts started more than 10 years ago. In 1978, the late Stanley Sedgwick, Patron of the Bentley Drivers Club, compiled and published an excellent, but brief, monograph and owners register called the Bentley ‘R’ Type Continental. Christian Hueber, owner of BC-65-C, began to update this work in 1992 with Stanley Sedgwick’s help and approval. Stanley graciously provided copies of his earlier research and most importantly arranged a number of personal introductions. These resulted in many important resources becoming accessible. David Sulzberger, who owns BC-3-B, joined the project in 1994 and contributed his extensive archives.

The original goal had been to update Sedgwick’s 1978 work. However, the sheer volume of new information, including original factory records, coachbuilders drawings and photographs, carried this project far beyond the initial concept. Tracing the existence and ownership of all 208 Continentals has been a massive project. We have now accounted for nearly all the cars, 204 to be exact. Our resulting book, The Continental Sports Saloon contains the most comprehensive history to date, of the origins, design, development, testing and production of these cars.

All the Continentals have been individually researched in much greater detail than previously possible, including individual ownership histories, unique chassis and coachwork specifications, and photographic records.

In addition, we have compiled an exhaustive folio of coachbuilders drawings. This includes a selection of the original Continental drawings from Bentley, H.J. Mulliner, Park Ward, Chapron and Pinin Farina.

The Continental Sports Saloon is a unique book about an exceptional car comprising 400 pages, measuring 290mm x 240mm and containing over 350 photographs, illustrations and drawings, many never before published, reproduced in colour and black and white.

This book is presented in two limited editions:

Owners’ Edition:

Bentley Continental Sports Saloon - the definitive book from Palawan Limited to just 208 copies, each with a chassis number corresponding to an original car, this edition is being prepared for and has been reserved in the first instance for the owners of the Continental. The book has been designed around the Owners’ Handbook that originally came with each car, featuring a wrap-around cover and snap closure. The Owners’ Edition books will also come with a black buckram clothbound portfolio containing 20 facsimile copies of Continental coachbuilders’ drawings. This portfolio will not be available for sale separately. We complete the set with a copy of The Continental Register, which is a quick reference guide that lists, by chassis number, the specifications and details of each car. Further, there are a number of note pages at the end of the Register to enable personal recordings to be made. The Owners’ Edition books are available in a choice of coverings; either handbound in black Morocco leather or in black buckram cloth. Each book will have gold foil blocking on the front and spine and attached to the ribbon will have a replica Continental cylinder head tag stamped with the appropriate chassis number.

Lastly, for an extra charge and to further enhance copies of the Owners’ Edition, we can offer a superb drop-back solander box, handbound by The Wyvern Bindery in black buckram cloth and felt-lined, to house The Continental Sports Saloon, The Continental Register and the portfolio of coachbuilders’ drawings. This box will also have a replica Continental chassis plate fixed to the front of the box, engraved with the chassis number.

For obvious reason, a limited number of Owners’ editions books will become generally available. These books will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Retail prices: Leatherbound £750 inclusive of delivery.

Standard Edition: Limited to just 150 copies, numbered 1 – 150, the book is bound in black buckram cloth, with gold foil blocking on the front and spine and is encased in a black buckram cloth slipcase.

Retail price: £300 plus delivery for the first 50 copies sold.
Retail price: £350 plus delivery for the second 50 copies sold.
Retail price: £400 plus delivery for the remaining copies.

In addition there is The Continental Register:

This practical book is packed full of accurate information on each and every Continental car with full specifications and detail, replicating the information at the back of The Continental Sports Saloon in a handy portable format. It will also include a number of note pages for your personal recordings. In A5 size, softbound in black card with printed gold type on the front to mirror The Continental Sports Saloon, you will find this invaluable.
Retail price: £25 plus delivery

For further details please contact:

11 Royal Crescent Mews,
London W11 4SY

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7371 3060
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7371 4080
[email protected]

Photos/Text; Palawan Press - Strictly Copyright