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1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback

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  Lot #227  (Sale Order: 43 of 78)  
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Despite its name, the two door Continental was produced principally for the domestic home market with just 208 built, only 75 of these being the very desirable D-Series models. Like many handcrafted coachbuilt cars of the period, the chassis were produced at the Rolls-Royce Crewe factory and shared many components with the standard R-Type. Coachwork for the majority of cars was completed by H. J. Mulliner & Co. with most orders for the Fastback Coupé (design number 7277). A distinctive style of coachwork, the lightweight, aluminium wind-tunnel developed fastback from Mulliner focussed strongly on keeping weight to a minimum in order to maximise power and performance. The R-Type Continental was the first four seat sports coupé capable of speeds of up to 120mph. The early R-Type Continental had essentially the same engine as the standard R-Type but with modified carburation, induction and exhaust manifolds along with higher gear ratios. 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 3¾ inches, raising the displacement to 4,877cc. Mated to a manual gearbox, the result is a potent continental cruiser or surprisingly docile and manageable city charger. This late D-Series Fastback, chassis number BC58D, was ordered new by a Mr R. Montague Burton of tailoring fame on 16th November 1954. It was delivered with HJ Mulliner 2-door Fastback coachwork in Circassian Blue with beige hide and the highly sought after 4.9 Litre D-Series engine, that remains in the car today (engine number BCD57). Special features included a synchromesh gearbox, arm rests on the doors, a divided bench seat in the front with centre arm rests, 2 standard and 2 high frequency horns, a recess in the left-hand door providing space for picnic equipment, Le Mans type headlights, fog lamps, radio and a special average speed meter that is still fitted to the car. Bespoke luggage for the boot was also ordered and these desirable items remain with the car today along with a jack, beautifully fitted tool kit and handbook. The first registration number was 2048UG and it was subsequently registered as RMB1, SUM1, 41CWF, JRH 5 and currently 622YUS. There is a detailed record of historical ownership and the car has remained in England its entire life. Delivered to Montague Burton on 12th March 1955, he owned the car until January 1961, when it was purchased by W. S. Teal. Mr Teal sold the car in January 1962 to a Mr L. J. MacDonald who owned it for 5 years, then passed to a Mr J. Wardell in 1967. In August 1970, Trago Mills Limited took possession of the vehicle and it was subsequently sold to a Mr A. I. Sutherland in October 1972. Mr Sutherland owned BC58D until 1992 when it was acquired by J. R. Henley. It was purchased by the current owner from Mr Henley in 2013 and he is now the 8th owner of the vehicle from new. In the last 2 years the current owner, a long-term RREC and BDC enthusiast, has spent in excess of £50,000 with Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialists A&S Engineering. They have helped in servicing and improving the car to bring it up to the wonderful condition in which you see it today. The original interior hide is in outstanding condition and has been delicately re-Connollised, along with new carpets in the boot and interior. The car has a unique and well-documented history and is supplied with two files of documentation, including build sheets, handbooks, maintenance instructions for the coachwork, historical photographs, Autocar road tests, owners’ correspondence, past tax discs and servicing invoices. Furthermore, this Continental Fastback is offered with the very special Bentley Motor’s Commemorative Folio Edition produced in 2008 for each of the 208 R type Continentals produced, with BC58D well represented in the book. It is unique in that the page dedicated to BC58D is signed by the very first owner, Mr R Montague Burton as well as the owner from 1992 – 2013, Mr Henley, and the current owner. The car is described by the vendor as "in outstanding overall condition and the powerful 4.9 litre engine pulls smoothly and strongly, the brakes are superb and the gearbox a delight." The indicated mileage (believed to be correct) is 90,567 miles and the car has recently received a fresh MoT certificate. We welcome pre-sale inspections and buyers should feel free to contact the office for more information. With many trouble-free continental touring miles already to its name, this most elegant of benchmark collector cars is ready to deliver so many more under new stewardship.

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This item is part of Salon Privé Auction
 Friday, Sep 4, 2015 | 5:30 PM  EUR (BST)
 
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1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback
1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback
Lot number: 227
Seller: Silverstone Auctions
Event: Salon Privé Auction
Ends: Friday, September 4 | 5:30 PM  EUR (BST)

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