Bentley R-Type Drophead Coupe
Following World War II, Rolls-Royce transferred production of its motor cars from Derby to its wartime aero-engine facility at Crewe. For the first time, the company built complete cars rather than chassis only. The first postwar Bentley to be built was the Mark VI, a virtual duplicate (sans radiator shell) of its sister, the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn. Standard bodies were styled by the company’s own designers with ex-Gurney Nutting Chief Designer John Blatchley adding refinement. This was quite a change in philosophy by the parent company Rolls-Royce, yet it reflected the reality that standardized bodies could be built in greater numbers at its new factory in Crewe, England. Custom coachwork was, of course, available at the owner’s discretion.
Engine capacity was increased to 4,566 cc in 1951, and the standard saloon body was revised with a longer boot in 1952. At the same time, chassis numbering had reached the “R” series, causing this model to become known as the R-Type in late-1952. This also marked the arrival of an optional automatic transmission and twin SU carburetors which replaced a single Stromberg unit. A total of 2,325 R-Types in all configurations were produced through 1955.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2010 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
128-132 hp, 4,566 cc inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with helical springs and hydraulic dampers, semi-elliptic rear springs with hydraulic dampers, hydraulic front and mechanical rear brakes with mechanical servo assist. Wheelbase: 120".
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel