1993 Bentley Continental R Coupe
Chassis no. SCBZB03D4PCX42171
6.75-liter V8 motor
Low mileage, well-cared for example
Offered with books and tools
By the end of the 1970s, Bentleys accounted for a mere 3% of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars' production; clearly a situation which could not be tolerated if the once-famous marque was to avoid extinction. The solution was to seek to re-establish Bentley's credentials as the purveyor of high-performance luxury cars and, in a move calculated to evoke memories of the company's glorious past achievements at Le Mans, the name 'Mulsanne' was chosen for the Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit's counterpart. This strategy would succeed brilliantly. Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1982, the Mulsanne Turbo provoked a rash of headlines in the motoring press hailing the return of the 'Blower Bentley' - the 'Silent Sports Car' was back.
Bentley's 1980s resurgence had hitherto relied exclusively on models whose basic architecture was shared with other Rolls-Royce products; but on display at Geneva in '85 was 'Project 90', a mocked-up coupé intended to gauge public response to the idea of a high-performance car unique to Bentley. When the real thing - the Bentley Continental R - was unveiled six years later, the waiting crowd burst into spontaneous applause. Styled with the assistance of consultants John Heffernan and Ken Greenley at Worthing-based International Automotive Design, the Continental R benefited from computer-aided design and wind tunnel testing in the devising of its sleekly streamlined shape. Despite the need to incorporate non-traditional features such as doors recessed into the roof, the result looked every bit a Bentley, albeit one restated for the 1990s. Also new was the gearbox, a four-speed automatic with an 'overdrive' top ratio, but the main focus of interest was the newcomer's performance. Needless to say this was outstanding, the combination of the 325bhp Turbo R engine in the new wind-cheating shape cutting the 0-60mph time to under 7 seconds and boosting top speed to around 150mph.
Previously owned by John H. Sweeney, former Executive Director of the Larz Anderson Museum of Transportation in Brookline, Massachusetts, this very clean, low mileage Bentley has approximately 26,000 miles on the clock today. Previously titled in Florida, New Mexico and Texas the car was acquired by Sweeney, a renowned car collector, in 2007 and invoices on file indicate the car received regular maintenance at Bentley Boston. Currently based in the Pacific Northwest, where it has resided with Sweeney's brother since his passing, the car is offered with a Washington Certificate of Title. The brakes were overhauled in February 2011 during a recent check over. The Continental R looks set to follow in the footsteps of its namesake, the legendary R-type Continental of the 1950s, and become the most collectible model to wear the famous winged 'B' badge of the modern era. Offered with books, tools and history file.