The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A
Lot 277* N
The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975
1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon
Sold for £561,500 (US$ 740,642) inc. premium

Goodwood Revival

9 Sep 2017, 13:00 BST

Chichester, Goodwood

Lot Details
The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975,1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC10A
The ex-Georges Fillipinetti and in current ownership since 1975
1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon
Coachwork by H.J. Mulliner

Registration no. not UK registered
Chassis no. BC10A
* Displayed at the 1952 London Motor Show
*The tenth R-Type Continental built
*Delivered new to Switzerland
*Resident in Australia since 1960
*Extensive mechanical restoration in 1988

Footnotes

  • 'The vocabulary of motoring being a lame and limited thing, it is difficult to put into words the gulf that separates a Continental from the average car in all the qualities that have a bearing on safety at speed. In acceleration, in braking, in cornering power, in roadholding, in responsiveness to the controls, this Bentley is the equal of modern racing cars, and superior to some.' – Raymond Mays, The Autocar, 2nd October 1953.

    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 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. 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, aluminium, wind tunnel-developed fastback of H J Mulliner. In developing the Continental, Bentley Motors made every effort to keep its weight to the minimum, knowing that this was the most effective way to achieve the maximum possible performance.

    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 but has been estimated at around 153bhp. As the Continental matured, there was – inevitably – an increase in weight, which was offset by the introduction of a 4,887cc engine on the 'D' and 'E' series cars, commencing in May 1954. The Continental's performance figures would have been considered excellent for an out-and-out sports car 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. As Autocar observed: 'The Bentley is a modern magic carpet which annihilates great distances and delivers the occupants well-nigh as fresh as when they started.' When production ceased in 1955 a total of 208 cars had been completed, the left-hand/right-hand drive split being 43/165.

    The example offered here - right-hand drive chassis number 'BC10A' – is the tenth R-Type Continental built (the ninth with right-hand drive) and represents the model in its original conception, without the chromed waist moulding adopted later. This car is pictured in Martin Bennett's book on the marque, 'Bentley Continental, Corniche and Azure' carrying its State of Victoria registration, 'JJC 777' (page 37).

    'BC10A' was first owned by Georges Filipinetti, founder of the famous Swiss racing team, Scuderia Filipinetti, and was delivered to him via Garage de l'Athénée in Geneva, Switzerland. The Continental was shipped to Zeebrugge via the Norfolk ferry on 14th December 1952, having been displayed on H J Mulliner's stand at that year's London Motor Show. Accompanying build details show that the Continental was originally finished in Circassian Blue with red leather interior trim, while special features included a speedometer in kilometres, high-frequency horns, and Wilmot Breeden bumpers (changed from the Mulliner type).

    'BC10A' also has the manual gearbox and right-hand gear lever, the latter considered to be far superior to both the steering column and central gear changes, which have the disadvantage of additional linkages resulting in less precise shifting. A published road test of the right-hand gear change on an R-Type Continental noted that the expression, 'like a hot knife through butter!' was especially apt.

    Georges Filipinetti did not keep the Continental for very long, and in February 1954 the car passed into the ownership of one Jacques Bordier in Switzerland, the selling agent again being Garage de l'Athénée. On 1st January 1960, the Bentley was acquired by one R Jelbart in Australia, having been re-sprayed silver and had a sunroof added. 'BC10A' has remained in Australia ever since, its subsequent owner's being M Ricketson (from October 1965), T Parkinson (from November 1971) and the lady vendor's late husband, who bought the car in November 1975 from a fellow lecturer at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. In 1966, during the Ricketson ownership, Baker & Tait had restored the car, removing the sunroof and fitting the current tail lamps.

    At the time of acquisition, the late owner was setting up his own architectural practice while his wife was at home looking after three young children; it was a big financial commitment for them, but his heart was set on it. He joined the Victoria Branch of the Rolls-Royce Owners Club of Australia, quickly making contact with other enthusiasts in order to learn how to maintain this beautiful and iconic car. The family was living in Melbourne at the time and was able to attend several club events. The old club newsletters were recycled recently, but a few remain in the history file together with the draft of an article for the R-ROCA's journal, Praeclarum.

    Its owner loved driving the Bentley around Victoria's countryside while managing two architectural practices in country centres. When the family moved to Dunkeld in the Western District, he continued to drive the car to his various jobs and back to Melbourne for his work with the Anglican Church. He kept a logbook only when required by law to do so for taxation purposes (July 1986-1992, with the occasional later entry until 2014) and then as a Vintage Car Club registration (2015-2016).

    In the 1990s, the late owner closed his architectural practice to become a full time farmer and 'wool politician', championing the rights of the individual sheep farmer. He became a member of the Australian Wool Council, a job that demanded much travel and gave him further opportunities to drive the Bentley. He was delighted that all four daughters used the Continental for their weddings, as did a few other young friends. The car also went on family holidays to Canberra, New South Wales, Tasmania, and South Australia, while in more recent years it has undertaken a few journeys to Bundella in northern NSW.

    As he grew older and had more spare time, the late owner loved to talk to anyone that showed an interest in his beautiful Continental. In 2008 he joined the South Australian Bentley Drivers' Club and enjoyed a number of very pleasant and enjoyable outings with them. He was always tinkering with the Bentley. There were a couple of major dramas: one in 1987 when the windscreen cracked, which necessitated obtaining a new one from the UK. The owner supervised/helped install the new screen, and the cracked original was kept as a pattern in case of another failure, together with two pages of written notes on how to do the job (his files tell the story). Then in 1984, while speeding home from Melbourne one night, a piston holed. This required a major engine rebuild, which the late owner did himself with assistance from two engineering workshops in Hamilton and the now much consulted Service Handbook (in file). All this and more is described in the aforementioned Praeclarum article (No.4-02, August 2002, pp. 3,946-48) and there are also typed notes in the history file: 'Restorations To Date (1.12.88)'. Later records are sparse.

    Two years ago, because of the increasingly dense traffic in cities and the increasing age of its owner, the Bentley was semi-retired on a Vintage Registration, though it has continued to be driven regularly enjoying on country runs in South Western Victoria. Presented in good condition, 'BC10A' represents a rare opportunity to acquire a fine example of the most famous post-war Bentley, possessing impeccable provenance.
Activities
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