The Elegance and Power of the 1952 Bentley R-Type Continental
World War II brought with it lean years, but Bentley roared back onto the scene with its 1952 Bentley R-Type Continental. It was an elegant, eye-catching car with a powerful engine that made it the fastest car in the world in its day. The R-Type was a lightweight, fastback coupe that some complain copied the look of General Motors' 1949 fastbacks. You can argue all you like about originality, but there's no arguing that this car epitomizes postwar style on wheels. Built in very low numbers, the R-Type Continental was a two-door, four-seater with a body designed by Bentley's chief stylist, John Blatchley and built by H.J. Mulliner. RELATED: See More of the 1952 Bentley R-Type Continental
Its iconic looks were backed up with a very worth7 engine. It started out with a 6-cylinder that produced roughly 145 hp and then switched to a more powerful 6-cylinder with roughly 155 hp. A brief production run from 1952 through 1954 saw only 208 units built. Its top speed of 120 mph made it the fastest four-seat car in the world, a feat Bentley would repeat nearly 50 years later.
The design of the R-Type Continental was so influential that Bentley turned back the clock to take its cues from the car when it was in the process of designing the new Continental GT. Design director Dirk van Braeckel looked to the R-Type Continental more than any other Bentley, proving that some things really are timeless.
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