The 1952-1955 Bentley R-Type Continental was perhaps the most exciting Bentley of the postwar period. It was a sensationally styled, lightweight fastback coupe built on the R-Type sedan chassis, but some grumble to this day that it aped GM's 1949 fastback look.

Only a small number were built, all two-door four-seaters, most with bodywork by H.J. Mulliner. The line was originally powered by the Bentley six as fitted to the sedans, but a larger-capacity 4,887cc version was specified beginning in 1954. The Bentley R-Type Continental was a true GT with handling that belied its massive size and still considerable weight. Just the thing for blasting across the continent at easy three-figure speeds of up to 115 mph.

This car is rare, but worth seeking out, and is a modern classic even among Bentleys.

Pluses of the 1952-1955 Bentley R-Type Continental:

  • Distinctive fastback styling
  • Rot-free light-alloy body
  • Higher top speed than other R-Types
  • Others as for Mark VI and R-Type

Minuses of the 1952-1955 Bentley R-Type Continental:

  • Body panel replacements hopeless
  • Rare and costly to buy
  • Others as for R-Type

Production of the 1952-1955 Bentley R-Type Continental:
208

Specifications of the 1952-1955 Bentley R-Type Continental:
Wheelbase, inches: 120.0
Length, inches: 206.5
Weight, pounds: 3,740
Price, new: NA

Engines for the 1952-1955 Bentley R-Type Continental:

Type Size Horsepower Years
F I-6 4,566 cc (279 cid) 145* 1952-1953
F I-6 4,887 cc (298 cid) 155* 1954-1955

*Actual output not quoted: estimated net horsepower

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