The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75

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Lot 367
The ex-Lord Carnegie, 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon
Registration no. TLN 318 Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75

Sold for £ 254,500 (US$ 353,246) inc. premium
The ex-Lord Carnegie
1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon
Coachwork by H J Mulliner

Registration no. TLN 318
Chassis no. BC76C
Engine no. BCC75

Footnotes

  • Described by The Autocar as, ‘A new stage in the evolution of the post-war Bentley,’ the magnificent Continental sports saloon has been synonymous with effortless high speed cruising in the grand manner since its introduction in 1952 on the R-Type chassis. Of all-welded construction, the latter enabled the incorporation of a much-needed improvement to Rolls-Royce’s standard bodywork in the shape of an enlarged boot together with associated changes to rear wings and suspension. The R-Type and its Rolls-Royce sister car, the ‘E’ Series Silver Dawn, were notable as the first Rolls-Royce products available with automatic transmission, the company having opted for General Motors’ Hydra-Matic, a state-of-the-art four-speed unit permitting manual selection. The standard R-Type was a lively performer, achieving 106mph in silence and reaching 50mph from standstill in 10 seconds despite a kerb weight approaching two tons.
    The Continental raised this already superlative combination of high performance and exceptional refinement to hitherto unattained levels. Rolls-Royce’s six-cylinder, inlet-over-exhaust engine had been enlarged from 4,257cc to 4,556cc in 1951, and as installed in the Continental benefited from an increase in compression ratio - the maximum power output, of course, remained unquoted. Unlike the ordinary ‘standard steel’ R-Type, the Continental was bodied in the traditional manner and first appeared with what many enthusiasts consider to be the model’s definitive style of coachwork - the lightweight, wind tunnel-developed fastback of H J Mulliner.
    The Continental’s performance figures would have been considered excellent for an out-and-out sportscar, but for a full four/five seater saloon they were exceptional: a top speed of 120mph, 100mph achievable in third gear, 50mph reached in a little over 9 seconds and effortless cruising at the ‘ton’. Built for export only at first, the Continental was, once delivery charges and local taxes had been paid, almost certainly the most expensive car in the world, as well as the fastest capable of carrying four adults and their luggage. ‘The Bentley is a modern magic carpet which annihilates great distances and delivers the occupants well-nigh as fresh as when they started,’ concluded Autocar.
    The example offered here - ‘BC76C’ - was ordered new by Lord Carnegie, subsequently enjoying two long-term owners until very recently when it was acquired by the vendor. Accompanying build history records that the car was originally delivered equipped with manual transmission, bench type seats with armrests, crests on the doors and a fuel gauge calibrated in gallons/litres.
    On 10th March 1959, by which time it had been reregistered ‘TLN 318’, the Continental passed into the ownership of Mrs Sheila Davis. Sheila Davis was a very keen motorist, owning a stable of three or four cars that at various times included a Bentley MkVl convertible, a Ferrari and an Alfa Romeo as well as the Continental. Mrs Davis originally lived in St John’s Wood, but then moved to Littlewick Green, Maidenhead. She travelled on the Continent in the Bentley at first, but in later years it was used only for Saturday trips to her shop in New Cavendish Street, London W1. The Continental was serviced annually every spring, and the engine is understood to have been completely rebuilt at great cost in the late 1980s or thereabouts. In January 1999 the car passed into the hands of its third owner, Richard Samuel, who had it serviced regularly by Silver Lady Services (see bills on file for the period 1999-2003).
    Repainted in Bentley Athenian Blue with Oxblood Red interior, ‘BC76C’ had in excess of £80,000 spent on it in 2005 when it underwent total restoration. All work was carried out by recognised Bentley specialists familiar with R-Types, resulting in one of the finest examples in existence. Body and paintwork renovation was entrusted to Clark & Carter, of Braintree, while the interior has been re-trimmed in the finest Spinneybeck hides by top Bentley trimmer, Bob Smith. The car drives superbly and was displayed recently outside Goodwood House on the occasion of the annual GRRC summer party. (It is believed, although not confirmed, that the recorded mileage of 78,000 is genuine). ‘BC76C’ has its original tools, handbooks, buff logbook, Swansea V5 and a comprehensive history file containing build sheets, restoration/service invoices and a quantity of expired MoTs. A rare opportunity to acquire a concours-standard example of the most famous post-war Bentley, possessing impeccable provenance.
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
The ex-Lord Carnegie,1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC76C Engine no. BCC75
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