Restoring this battered Bentley R Type would be a sin

At JD Classics’ showroom in Maldon, Essex, in the UK, a very special Bentley awaits a new owner. In single-family ownership since 1968, the lavishly equipped R Type Continental is sure to beguile its new custodian with a layer of dust, a few dents – and some specially commissioned one-off features…

Quite a story…

Naturally, the majority of R Type Continentals were purchased new by prominent figures – and indeed, the battered Bentley currently offered by JD Classics was ordered new in 1954 on behalf of Philip. F. Scrutton, a world-class amateur golfer and pilot. He specified every conceivable option, along with a number of special requests, such as flared rear wings and cutaway spats, on the H.J. Mulliner body. But just a year later, custody was passed to another sportsman: motorcyclist Stanley Hailwood, father of future World Champion bike racer Mike ‘The Bike’. During this time, the elegant ‘Rover Grey’ coupé was put to work along the French Riviera, and entered in the Cannes Concours of Elegance. In 1968, another aviation enthusiast, Frank Cavanagh, bought the car while on business in London, and promptly shipped the Bentley back home to Australia. It remained there for 47 years, during which time it shared space in an aircraft hangar alongside a Bentley S1, a Ferrari 330 GTC, and a Cessna, all owned by Cavanagh.

Do not wash!

To us, the idea of leaving the unique Bentley in its current state seems more attractive than a costly restoration – after all, as the saying goes, ‘they’re only original once’. With such fascinating provenance, dust and dents that relay a fascinating ownership story are preferable to polished lacquer and immaculate leather. Nowadays, the ‘preservation classes’ are becoming more and more popular at world-class concours events, for which we’d tip this Bentley as a future star…

Photos: JD Classics

You can find the full JD Classics stocklist, including this very Bentley R Type, in the Classic Driver Market.