1954 Bentley R Type Continental

Year : 1954
Make : Bentley
Model : R Type Continental
Coachbuilder : H.J.Mulliner (Upgraded Specification)
Body Type : Fastback
Colour : Athenian Blue
Trim : Red Leather
Technical Data : Four speed manual gearbox, 6 cylinder in-line configuration engine, with upgraded triple carburetor layout. Drum brakes servo-assisted.

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 were then transported to London by train where they were fitted with coachwork by H.J. Mulliner of Chiswick. Chassis No BC76C was completed in July of 1954, originally finished in vineyard green with a beige leather interior piped green and was fitted with a bench type front seats with arm rests. It was supplied by Paddon Bros Ltd and delivered by area retailer Rossleigh Ltd to its first owner, Lord Carnegie. Five years later in December 1959 it was sold to Mrs Sheila Davis, who registered the car with the number plate TLN 318 which it still retains today. Mrs Davis used BC76C for trips into Europe and also to commute from her home in Maidenhead to her business in London. She kept the car for forty years and sold it in 1999 to Mr Richard Samuel. Following an engine overhaul in the 1980s, the cosmetic aspects were restored in 2005 when the coachwork was restored by Clark & Carter and the interior was re-trimmed by Bob Smith in London. Frank Dale & Stepsons supplied BC76C in 2012 to a significant collection of Bentley Continentals at which point the new owner instructed Jeremy Padgett to carry out a body off restoration. The works were extensive and included a full chassis and mechanical restoration. The engine was upgraded to incorporate three carburettors to increase the power significantly. All other mechanical aspects were overhauled and in some cases upgraded further to produce a car of great quality. The expenditure totalled in excess of 300,000 for the works carried out over a two year period between 2012 and 2014. The original front seats were also removed and retained, with a set of bucket seats as per the original specification supplied and trimmed by Frank Dale & Stepsons to enhance the car further. It is fitted with seat belts, air conditioning and comes with complete tools. It also comes with a file of invoices documenting all of the works carried out to the car along with a detailed photographic record. Chassis No BC76C is in excellent condition in every respect and performs with distinction on the road.

If you would like to make an enquiry about this vehicle, please contact us by phone on (00 852) 2285 1888 or by email at enquiry@frankdale.com.hk