1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon / BC16LA Vehicle Information

1953 Bentley R-Type photograph

1953 Bentley R-Type photograph

1953 Bentley R-Type photograph

1953 Bentley R-Type photograph

1953 Bentley R-Type photograph

1953 Bentley R-Type photograph

1953 Bentley R-Type photograph

1953 Bentley R-Type photograph

1953 Bentley R-Type photograph

1953 Bentley R-Type photograph

1953 Bentley R-Type photograph

1953 Bentley R-Type1953 Bentley R-Type1953 Bentley R-Type1953 Bentley R-Type1953 Bentley R-Type1953 Bentley R-Type1953 Bentley R-Type1953 Bentley R-Type1953 Bentley R-Type1953 Bentley R-Type1953 Bentley R-Type
Saloon
Coachwork: Mulliner
Chassis #: BC16LA
Engine #: BCA15
Sold for $1,622,500 at 2012 RM Auctions - Monterey.
Sold for $1,525,000 at 2015 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Arizona.
The Georges-Paulin-designed Corniche prototype of 1940 eventually evolved into H.I.F. Evenden and J.P. Blatchley's R-Type Continental. The design and development of the prototype Continental was entrusted to H.J. Mulliner, which was based on the frame, suspension, steering and braking components of a standard R-Type. Light alloy was used for the body, window, and seat frames. The entire package, including the body and chassis, weighed less than 4,000 pounds. During extensive testing, the prototype's gearbox overdriven top gear was found to be unsuitable for the RPMs offered by the engine. In response. It was replaced by a direct-ratio top gear and lower axle ratio, offering better high-speed touring and well-spaced gear changes for city driving.

Between May 1952 and April 1955, 207 production Continentals were built. Mulliner was tasked with crafting bodies for 193 of those, giving them variations of their prototype design, which was dubbed the Sports Saloon. The Mulliner-bodied R-Type Continental was a build-to-order package that had a price tag of $18,000.

This particular example, chassis number BC16LA, is the 15th R-Type Continental produced as part of the inaugural A-Series and as a left-hand drive model. This car is one of only twenty-four Continentals built in 1953. The car was ordered with an extensive list of special features, including special H.J. Mulliner lightweight seat frames, sealed-beam headlamps, high-frequency horns, fog lamps in front of the standard center driving lamp, and American flasher-type turn indicators. The Wilmot Breedon 'export'-type steel bumpers were noted to be fitted an inch further forward than standard. This was also the first R-Type Continental with the optional center gear change, rather than the standard steering column-mounted shift lever.

After the car was put through testing, the car was shipped to San Francisco via the S.S Loch Garth on January 15, 1953, for display by West Coast dealer Kjell Qvale. The original owner was Svante Magnus Swenson. Swenson returned the car to England in 1954 and then flew it to Le Touquet, France, on April 26, 1954.

In 1965, the car was retrofitted with an updated larger engine of a 3¾-inch bore, and the original engine, BCA15, is reported to have been installed in another chassis. Later in like, the car was put into storage, where it would remain for many years before being sold to a new owner who would direct its painstaking re-commissioning. The car was later sold to James Patterson before entering its current ownership.

The car is finished in black over brown. Under the engine is its BCA15 engine, indicating either incorrect previous registry data or a reinstallation of the original powerplant.


By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2015
Saloon
Coachwork: Mulliner
Chassis #: BC16LA
Engine #: BCA15
Sold for $1,622,500 at 2012 RM Auctions - Monterey.
Sold for $1,525,000 at 2015 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Arizona.
This is the 15th of just 24 Continental Sports Sedans built in 1953 and slated for U.S. delivery. It is powered by a 4.9-liter six-cylinder engine and is fitted with a comprehensive list of special features including lightweight Mulliner seat frames, sealed beam headlights, high-frequency horns, fog lamps, special bumpers and U.S. compliant blinking turn signals. It is the first 'R-Type' with a center floor-mounted gear-change lever rather than the traditional column shift and one the very few with left-hand drive. Coachwork is by H.J. Mulliner.

It returned to England early in 1954 and then to Le Touquet, France in the spring. It remained in France with its owner until 1965 when it was sold and returned to America.


2015 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Arizona

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $1,500,000-USD $1,700,000 
Sale Price :
USD $1,525,000

2012 RM Auctions - Monterey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $900,000-USD $1,100,000 
Sale Price :
USD $1,622,500

1953 Bentley R-Type Auction Sales

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1953 sales)
1953 Bentley R-Type Empress by Hooper
Chassis#: B320TN
Sold for USD$49,500
  2020 RM Sothebys : Auburn Fall Auction
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon (Standard Steel )
Chassis#: B501SP
Sold for USD$31,445
  2019 Historics at Brooklands - Motor Museum
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon
Sold for USD$12,375
  2019 RM Auctions : Auburn Fall
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon
Chassis#: B66TN
Sold for USD$12,375
  2019 Auburn Spring : RM Auctions
 
1953 Bentley R-Type 4½-Litre Drophead Coupé
Chassis#: B73RS
Sold for USD$115,744
  2019 Bonhams : Goodwood Members Meeting
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon
Chassis#: B402TN
Sold for USD$46,750
  2019 RM Sothebys : Fort Lauderdale
 
1953 Bentley R-Type
Sold for USD$44,000
  2019 Mecum : Kissimmee
 
1953 Bentley R Type
Sold for USD$11,550
  2018 Mecum : Kansas City
 
1953 BENTLEY R TYPE RHD
Sold for USD$39,900
  2018 McCormick's - # 65
 
1953 BENTLEY R-TYPE SEDAN
Chassis#: B417SP
Sold for USD$25,850
  2018 Barrett-Jackson : Northeast
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon
Chassis#: B95UL
Sold for USD$23,076
  2017 Bonhams : London Olympia
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon Coachwork by James Young
Chassis#: B372SR
Sold for USD$19,575
  2017 Bonhams : The Beaulieu Sale
 
1953 Bentley R-Type
Chassis#: B358TN
Sold for USD$33,082
  2016 Silverstone Auctions : NEC Classic Motor Show
 
1953 Bentley Type R
Chassis#: B427SP
Sold for USD$17,600
  2016 The Finest : Aspen
 
1953 BENTLEY R-TYPE SALOON
Chassis#: B119TO
Sold for USD$15,658
  2016 Coys Blenheim Palace
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon
Chassis#: B125T0
Sold for USD$30,579
  2015 H & H Auctions - Chateau Impney
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon by H.J. Mulliner
Chassis#: BC25A
Sold for USD$1,210,000
  2015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey
1953 Bentley R-Type image  1953 Bentley R-Type image  
1953 Bentley R Type
Chassis#: B113SP
Sold for USD$59,245
  2015 Silverstone Auction - Classic Cars
 
1953 Bentley R Sedan
Sold for USD$18,750
  2015 Leake Auctions - Dallas, Tx
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon by H.J. Mulliner
Chassis#: BC16LA
Sold for USD$1,525,000
  2015 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Arizona
1953 Bentley R-Type image  1953 Bentley R-Type image  

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1953 Bentley R-Type's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon by H.J. MullinerBC15B2020 RM Sothebys : Paris $700,000$800,000
1953 Bentley R-Type 2020 Mecum Auctions : Kissimmee$35,000$60,000$80,000
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports SaloonBC20C2019 Bonhams : The Bond Street Sale $900,000$1,100,000
1953 Bentley R-Type SaloonB572TN2019 H & H Classics Imperial War Museum, Duxford $29,000$33,000
1953 Bentley R-Type 4½-Litre CoupéB135SP2019 Bonhams : The Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale $100,000$150,000
1953 BENTLEY R TYPE488TN2019 The Roy Savage Collection of Classic Cars $65,000$75,000
1953 Bentley R-Type SR5 Special RoadsterB61UL2018 Bonhams : Goodwood Members Meeting $70,000$90,000
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon by H.J. MullinerBC20A2017 RM Sothebys : Villa Erba $1,000,000$1,300,000
1953 Bentley R-TypeB135TO2017 Barons : Classic Winter Warmer   
1953 Bentley R Type Continental FastbackBC20A2016 Barons Connoisseurs Classic Car Collection   
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental FastbackBC10LB2015 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach Concours $1,400,000$1,800,000
1953 Bentley R-Type Standard Steel SaloonB245UL2015 Historics at Brookland $15,000$20,000
1953 Bentley R-TypeB84T2012 Russo and Steele Scottsdale   
1953 Bentley R Sedan 2011 Branson Collector Car Auction Oct 22, 2011$33,000  
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback by MullinerBC3C2011 Coys Auction Blenheim Palace $290,000$330,000
1953 Bentley R-Type Convertible Coachwork by Park WardB38CO5R2011 Coys Auction Blenheim Palace $55,000$70,000

Comparables

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1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  
1980 Aston Martin V8 Volante
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1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  
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1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  

Vehicle Profiles

Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1952 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Abbotts of Farnham
Chassis Num: B18RT
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1952 Coupe
Coachbuilder: Abbotts of Farnham
Chassis Num: B2RT
Engine Num: B1R
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1953 Saloon
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1953 Saloon
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1953 Drophead Victoria
Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1953 Saloon
Chassis Num: B-157-TO B-78 T
Engine Num: B 006157
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1953 Saloon
Coachbuilder: Freestone & Webb
Chassis Num: B121SP
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1953 Saloon
Chassis Num: B157UL
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1953 Saloon
Chassis Num: B84T
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1953 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: B9T0
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1953 Saloon
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC16LA
Engine Num: BCA15
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1953 Saloon
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC20A
Engine Num: BCA19
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1953 Saloon
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC25A
Engine Num: BCA24
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1953 Saloon
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC9C
Chassis information for the Bentley R Type1954 Sport Saloon
Coachbuilder: James Young
Chassis information for the Bentley R Type1954 Fastback Coupe
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis information for the Bentley R Type1954 Saloon
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis information for the Bentley R Type1954 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Chassis information for the Bentley R Type1954 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Chassis Num: B132LTN
Chassis information for the Bentley R Type1954 Saloon
Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Chassis Num: BC29D
Engine Num: BED28
Chassis information for the Bentley R Type1954 Fastback Coupe
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC2LD
Chassis information for the Bentley R Type1954 Continental Fastback
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC35LC
Chassis information for the Bentley R Type1954 Saloon
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC38LC
Chassis information for the Bentley R Type1954 Coupe
Coachbuilder: Franay
Chassis Num: BC51LC
Engine Num: BCC50
Chassis information for the Bentley R Type1954 Fastback Coupe
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC62LC
Chassis information for the Bentley R Type1954 Drophead Coupe
Coachbuilder: Henri Chapron
Chassis Num: BC63LC
Chassis information for the Bentley R Type1954 Fastback Coupe
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC66LC
Engine Num: BCC65
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1955 Continental Fastback
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1955 Continental Fastback
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1955 Sports Coupe
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1955 Continental Fastback
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC16LD
Chassis information for the Bentley R-Type1955 Continental Fastback
Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC16LD


Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

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