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1955 Bentley R Type Continental

Year : 1955
Make : Bentley
Model : R Type Continental
Coachbuilder : H.J.Mulliner
Price : P.O.A.
Body Type : Fastback
Colour : Brewster Green
Trim : Beige Leather
Condition : Very good condition, recent coachwork restoration to a very high standard.
Technical Data : Four speed automatic gearbox, 6 cylinder in line configuration engine, 4.9 litres displacement, 4887cc capacity. 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 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 and three quarter inches, raising the displacement to 4,877cc. Chassis number BC37D which we are currently offering for sale is one of just twenty eight right hand drive examples with H.J.Mulliner fastback coachwork fitted with automatic transmission. It was originally completed in early 1955, finished in regal red with a light tan leather interior (VM 3243) and came fitted with two interesting options, those being the rarely seen Napoleon no-leak vent windows and also a Continental badge fitted on the boot. It was supplied originally by Jack Barclay Ltd to R.S.Wilkins in March of 1955 and according to the Continental register then had the following owners; Mr G Dawson (June 1955) Mr S Norman (August 1955) Mr H Jordan (March 1956) Dr J.C O Sullivan (July 1956) It was then supplied in 1970 for the first time by Frank Dale & Stepsons. Chassis No BC37D then changed hands in January 1980 when acquired by Mr J Anderson and then again in 1998 by Mr M Paterson. In 2002 the car took part in the 50th Anniversary Celebration for the R Type Continental at Silverstone, driven by Giles Crickmay of Frank Dale & Stepsons during the parade on the famous racing circuit. Three years later in 2005 the car was supplied by Frank Dale & Stepsons again, to a customer in Continental Europe, the first time that Chassis No BC37D had belonged to an overseas owner. Since then, the car has been very well maintained and recently the coachwork was fully restored to showroom condition in Brewster green. The car comes fitted with a modern stereo hidden in the glovebox and also air conditioning, fitted just below the main dashboard fascia. The car comes serviced, prepared and thoroughly tested as per our normal policy to ensure continued motoring pleasure for the next fortunate owner. We are delighted to have BC37D back for a third time and highly recommend this beautiful example to collectors and enthusiasts alike.

If you would like to make an enquiry about this vehicle, please contact us by phone on 020 8847 5447 or by email at sales@frankdale.com