1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon / BC25A Chassis Information

1953 Bentley R-Type photograph

1953 Bentley R-Type photograph

1953 Bentley R-Type photograph

1953 Bentley R-Type1953 Bentley R-Type1953 Bentley R-Type
Saloon
Coachwork: Mulliner
Chassis #: BC25A
Engine # BCA24
Sold for $1,210,000 at 2015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey.
Among the post-war Bentleys one of the most iconic would be the Continentals, and, none would be better than those clothed with bodies designed and built by H.J. Mulliner. But even among the Continentals there would be one series that would be even more desirable. This particular chassis, BC25A would have all of the desirables in spades; a fitting transport for a shipping baron.

Aristotle Onassis had become a shipping owner during the Second World War and, by the early 1950s, would head up the largest privately-owned shipping fleet in the world. Involved in business dealings in each and every corner of the globe, Onassis was one of the world's richest and most influential men. A man who greatly enjoyed finery, the Greek shipping baron had fine and exacting taste, and this included automobiles.

Developed prior to the Second World War, the Corniche would become the famed R-Type. It would be upon this chassis that H.J. Mulliner would be called upon to design and build a car for Onassis. Using alloys, the body would weigh less than a thousand pounds. The four-passenger body Fastback Sports Saloon prototype would be fitted to the frame and would make for an impressive touring automobile that would look as much a sports car as a fine luxury automobile.

Autocar magazine would name the Onassis Sports Saloon as a 'modern magic carpet.' The prototype would be an amalgamation like no other and would set itself apart from all the other Continentals ever to be produced. Including a custom package costing some $18,000, it would be of little surprise Onassis spared nearly no expense at all to create this remarkable automobile.

The Fastback Saloon would be delivered to Onassis on April of 1953 and would remain with the shipping magnate until 1959 when it would become the property of George Cahan.

The same year in which J.F.K. would die that terrible death in Dallas, BC25A would be sold to Peter Satori, an exotic car dealer based in California. Therefore, the Bentley would make its way to the United States where it would remain for the next twenty-plus years.

Jules Heumann, who was the long-time chairman of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, would become the car's next owner. How fitting it would be that the chairman of what is now the largest concours would drive around in such a unique Bentley.

Sadly, Heumann would suffer an accident in the car and would end up parting ways with the car. Thankfully, the car would be repaired and would soon find another home, this time with James Dunbar of San Mateo. This would take place in 1972.

Two years later, the car would be sold to Kent Wakeford, a well-known cinematographer in Hollywood. Two years after that the car would be sold to Charles Anker. Anker would retain the Bentley for nearly 15 years, but then, in 1988, the car would be purchased by its present owner and would make a return journey to England.

Soon after buying the car, the current owner would have the car restored at Vintage Motorworks in Miami, Florida. Following the completion of the restoration efforts, the car would return to England where it would remain for a quarter-century.

Complete in Tudor Grey and Maroon leather, the original look of the car when delivered to Mr. Onassis, the Bentley features minor touches of chrome brightwork that take the simplicity of the design and elevates its place equal to that of Onassis' private island or 325-foot yacht Christina O.

One of the few A-Series Continentals and a former chariot of Onassis, the 1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon would be one of many highlights for RM Sotheby's 2015 Monterey auction. Estimates prior to auction had the Bentley earning between $1,000,000 to $1,200,000.

By Jeremy McMullen


2015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
$1,000,000-$1,200,000 
Sale Price :
$1,210,000

2019 4
2018 3
2017 2
2016 3
2015 5
2014 2
2013 5
2012 5
2011 4
2010 5

YearAvg. SaleHigh Sale# of Sales
2019$54,717$115,7444
2018$25,767$39,9003
2017$21,326$23,0762
2016$22,113$33,0823
2015$568,715$1,525,0005
2014$693,000$1,210,0002
2013$193,392$702,6125
2012$483,467$1,622,5005
2011$44,413$106,4184
2010$81,904$141,4635

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1953 sales)
1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon
Chassis#: B66TN
Sold for $12,375
  2019 Auburn Spring : RM Auctions
 
1953 Bentley R-Type 4½-Litre Drophead Coupé
Chassis#: B73RS
Sold for $115,744
  2019 Bonhams : Goodwood Members Meeting
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon
Chassis#: B402TN
Sold for $46,750
  2019 RM Sothebys : Fort Lauderdale
 
1953 Bentley R-Type
Sold for $44,000
  2019 Mecum : Kissimmee
 
1953 Bentley R Type
Sold for $11,550
  2018 Mecum : Kansas City
 
1953 BENTLEY R TYPE RHD
Sold for $39,900
  2018 McCormick's - # 65
 
1953 BENTLEY R-TYPE SEDAN
Chassis#: B417SP
Sold for $25,850
  2018 Barrett-Jackson : Northeast
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon
Chassis#: B95UL
Sold for $23,076
  2017 Bonhams : London Olympia
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon Coachwork by James Young
Chassis#: B372SR
Sold for $19,575
  2017 Bonhams : The Beaulieu Sale
 
1953 Bentley R-Type
Chassis#: B358TN
Sold for $33,082
  2016 Silverstone Auctions : NEC Classic Motor Show
 
1953 Bentley Type R
Chassis#: B427SP
Sold for $17,600
  2016 The Finest : Aspen
 
1953 BENTLEY R-TYPE SALOON
Chassis#: B119TO
Sold for $15,658
  2016 Coys Blenheim Palace
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon
Chassis#: B125T0
Sold for $30,579
  2015 H & H Auctions - Chateau Impney
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon by H.J. Mulliner
Chassis#: BC25A
Sold for $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 $59,245
  2015 Silverstone Auction - Classic Cars
 
1953 Bentley R Sedan
Sold for $18,750
  2015 Leake Auctions - Dallas, Tx
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon by H.J. Mulliner
Chassis#: BC16LA
Sold for $1,525,000
  2015 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Arizona
1953 Bentley R-Type image  1953 Bentley R-Type image  
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon by H.J. Mulliner
Chassis#: BC20A
Sold for $1,210,000
  2014 RM Auctions at Monterey
1953 Bentley R-Type image  1953 Bentley R-Type image  
1953 Bentley R-Type Drophead Coupe by Park Ward
Chassis#: B9T0
Sold for $176,000
  2014 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Arizona
1953 Bentley R-Type image  1953 Bentley R-Type image  
1953 BENTLEY Type R COACH HOOPER
Sold for $98,083
  2013 Artcurial Motorcars - Monaco 2013
 

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 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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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 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 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

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

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