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:
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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