1954 Bentley Continental

R par H.J. Mulliner

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1954
  • Car type 
    Coupé
  • Chassis number 
    BC56LC
  • Engine number 
    BCC55
  • Lot number 
    35
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Restored
  • Interior colour 
    Red
  • Interior type 
    Leather
  • Number of doors 
    2
  • Number of seats 
    4
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Blue
  • Gearbox 
    Manual
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

Belgian title

Body n°5671

- One of 23 examples in left-hand drive, with floor-mounted manual gearbox
- Transparent history, matching numbers, air conditioning
- The most exclusive post-war Bentley model

At Bentley, where luxury and performance went hand in hand, cars rolled off the production line ever more modern, elegant and luxurious. At the start of the 1950s, the Mulliner-bodied Type R was the reference model, and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful grand touring cars to appear that decade. With the Continental, Bentley offered its clients a high-class vehicle capable of driving at high speeds in opulent comfort while conferring a sense of security. The use of aluminium on certain parts of the body helped to reduce the weight. At the time, it was the fastest of cars, with room for four people, and reached speeds of over 170 km/h. The luxurious and sophisticated passenger compartment also lived up to Bentley's reputation, as did the build quality. The Continental R was one of the most expensive cars in the world and just 209 examples were produced, 43 of which were left-hand drive, including 23 with floor-mounted gear lever.

Leaving the Crewe factory on 22 February 1954, chassis BC56LC was shipped to New York on the SS American Miller on 4 June 1954. This left-hand drive example was sold with central gear lever and air conditioning by the agent J.S. Inskip Inc on 18 May 1954 to its first owner, Raymond F. M. in Pennsylvania. On 1 January 1962 it passed into the hands of a certain Jack R. still in the US. He kept the car for eight years until 1 July 1970 when it was acquired by Karl Hardman-Schon, the well-known producer of horror films, with money made from his successful film " The night of the Living Dead ". He kept the car for almost thirty years. It returned to England to be fully restored by the King of Continentals at that time, Peter J. Fisher. On 1 January 1999, the Bentley was bought by the Dutch Collector R.J. R., who sold it on 15 January 2007 to the current owner, a great enthusiast and connoisseur of the marque. The original mileage at that time was 90 000 miles and he has covered just 600 miles during 13 years of ownership, conserving the Continental as part of his collection in a heated, secure garage. This sublime Continental R is in exceptional condition in every respect, presented in dark blue with red leather interior, a colour combination that accentuates its superb styling. The car comes with a complete toolkit and jack.
It is worth repeating that this Continental R is one of just 23 examples, in the most desirable configuration, of what was the most expensive motor car in the world in the 1950s. It belongs to the group of rare and highly exclusive models that have become timeless works of art in automobile history.

Photos © Dirk de Jager

Full set of pictures available on our online catalogue: https://www.artcurial.com/fr/lot-1954-bentley-continental-r-par-hj-mulliner-4058-35