Bentley R-Type Cabriolet by Park Ward

In the days immediately following World War II, Rolls-Royce took the unprecedented step of commissioning tooling for what became known as the Standard Steel Saloon – standard coachwork – for the majority of its model line. This move came after Managing Director Arthur Sidgreaves recognized that new production methods and materials had rendered the marque’s traditional manufacturing techniques outdated.

The first Standard Steel Saloon bodies were introduced on the Bentley Mark VI in 1946, following the proven Rolls-Royce practice of carefully updating its models in stages. For greater exclusivity, Bentley made a number of mechanical upgrades to the Mark VI in 1952, creating the R-Type. Standard Steel examples were now similar in appearance to the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn, while the six-cylinder engine grew to 4,566 cc and produced an estimated 150 hp. The new Hydra-Matic automatic transmission proved immensely popular as an option to complement the standard four-speed manual gearbox, and the new R-Type was capable of reaching top speeds in excess of 100 mph.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in May of 2010 at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco.

150 bhp, 4,566 cc inline six-cylinder engine, dual SU carburettors, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with wishbones and coil springs, rigid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and hydraulic front, servo-assisted mechanical rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 3,048 mm (120")

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Tom Wood

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