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1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon / BC25A Vehicle 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
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 :
USD $1,000,000-USD $1,200,000 
Sale Price :
USD $1,210,000

1953 Bentley R-Type Auction Sales

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1953 sales)
1953 Bentley R-Type Empress Saloon
Chassis#: B25RS
Sold for USD$44,265
  2021 Worldwide Auctioneers : The 14th Annual Auburn Auction
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon
Chassis#: B378TN
Sold for USD$29,150
  2021 RM Auctions : Auburn Fall
 
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon by H.J. Mulliner
Chassis#: BC1LB
Sold for USD$1,435,000
  2021 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1953 Bentley R-Type image  1953 Bentley R-Type image  
1953 BENTLEY R-TYPE SALOON
Chassis#: B11SP
Sold for USD$81,003
  2021 RM Sothebys : A Passion for Elegance
 
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
 

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 SALOONB484SR2021 Bonhams : Bonhams MPH May Auction $28,000$30,000
1953 Bentley Continental 4.9-litre Sports SaloonBC22A2020 Bonhams : The Bond Street Sale $550,000$700,000
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports SaloonBC27C2020 Bonhams : Goodwood Speedweek $800,000$1,000,000
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

Similar sales to the $178,289 range.
1967 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 4.2-Litre Roadster
Chassis#:1E 14936
Sold for $178,932
2021 RM Sothebys : The Guikas Collection
1957 Aston Martin DB2/4 MkII Fixed Head Coupe
Chassis#:AM300/1272
Sold for $179,200
2021 Bonhams : Greenwich Concours dElegance Online Auction
1958 Jaguar XK150S Roadster
Chassis#:T831417DN
Sold for $179,200
2021 Bonhams : Greenwich Concours dElegance Online Auction
Pininfarina Leggenda eClassic Simulator
Sold for $177,346
2021 RM Sothebys : St. Moritz, Switzerland
1911 Packard Model 18 Runabout
Chassis#:19101
Sold for $179,200
2021 Bonhams : Quail Lodge
1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  
1956 Austin-Healey 100M BN2 Le Mans
Chassis#:BN2L233087
Sold for $179,200
2021 Bonhams : Quail Lodge
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Galibier
Chassis#:57224
Sold for $179,200
2021 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach Concours Auction
1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  
1987 Porsche 930 3.3 Turbo Coupe
Chassis#:WP0JB0930HS050814
Sold for $179,200
2021 Bonhams : Quail Lodge
1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  
1970 Maserati Ghibli 4.7 Coupe
Chassis#:AM115.1568
Sold for $179,200
2021 Bonhams : Quail Lodge
1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  
1999 Ferrari 456M GT
Chassis#:ZFFWP44A6X0114788
Sold for $179,200
2021 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1987 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet
Chassis#:WP0EB0932HS070113
Sold for $179,200
2021 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  
1975 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera
Chassis#:9305700098
Sold for $179,200
2021 RM Sothebys : Monterey
2019 Bentley Bentayga
Sold for $178,750
2021 Mecum : Orlando
1969 FORD BRONCO CUSTOM SUV
Chassis#:U15GLE94611
Sold for $178,200
2021 Barrett-Jackson : Las Vegas
2021 DODGE DURANGO SRT HELLCAT AWD
Chassis#:1C4SDJH90MC662364
Sold for $180,000
2021 Barrett-Jackson : Las Vegas
1907 LOCOMOBILE MODEL H 35HP TOURING CAR
Chassis#:1578
Sold for $179,200
2021 Bonhams : Amelia Island Auction
1933 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM II ALL-WEATHER TOURER
Chassis#:110MY
Sold for $179,200
2021 Bonhams : Amelia Island Auction
1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  
1936 PACKARD TWELVE 1708 DUAL COWL SPORT PHAETON
Chassis#:904299
Sold for $179,200
2021 Bonhams : Amelia Island Auction
1931 HUDSON GREATER EIGHT BOATTAIL ROADSTER
Chassis#:924469
Sold for $179,200
2021 Bonhams : Amelia Island Auction
1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  1953 Bentley R-Type vehicle thumbnail image  
1930 ASTON MARTIN 1½-LITRE INTERNATIONAL 'SHORT CHASSIS' SPORTS TOURER
Chassis#:L0/92
Sold for $178,953
2021 Bonhams : The Bond Street Sale

Bentley R-Type Vehicle Profiles
Continental Fastback Sport Saloon
Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sport Saloon

Model Year: 1952
Profile
Drop Head Coupe
Bentley R-Type Drop Head Coupe

Model Year: 1952
Profile
Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Model Year: 1952

Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Model Year: 1952
Drophead Coupe
Bentley R-Type Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Abbotts of Farnham
Chassis Num: B18RT
Model Year: 1952
Profile
Coupe
Bentley R-Type Coupe

Coachbuilder: Abbotts of Farnham
Chassis Num: B2RT
Engine Num: B1R
Model Year: 1952
Profile and Auction History

Continental Fastback Sport Saloon
Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sport Saloon

Chassis Num: BC14LA
Engine Num: BCC4
Model Year: 1952
Profile and Auction History
Continental Sports Saloon
Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC26A
Model Year: 1952
Profile
Continental Fastback Sport Saloon
Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sport Saloon

Chassis Num: BC7A
Model Year: 1952
Profile and Auction History

Continental Fastback Sport Saloon
Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sport Saloon

Chassis Num: BC8LA
Engine Num: BCA8
Model Year: 1952
Profile and Auction History
Continental Fastback Sport Saloon
Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sport Saloon

Chassis Num: BCA1
Engine Num: BCA1
Model Year: 1952
Profile and Auction History
Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Model Year: 1953

Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Model Year: 1953
Sedanca Coupe
Bentley R-Type Sedanca Coupe

Coachbuilder: James Young
Model Year: 1953
Profile
Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Model Year: 1953
Profile

Drophead Victoria
Bentley R-Type Drophead Victoria

Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Model Year: 1953
Profile
Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Chassis Num: B-157-TO B-78 T
Engine Num: B 006157
Model Year: 1953
Profile
Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Coachbuilder: Freestone & Webb
Chassis Num: B121SP
Model Year: 1953
Profile and Auction History

Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Chassis Num: B157UL
Model Year: 1953
Profile
Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Chassis Num: B84T
Model Year: 1953
Drophead Coupe
Bentley R-Type Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: B9T0
Model Year: 1953
Profile and Auction History

Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC16LA
Engine Num: BCA15
Model Year: 1953
Profile and Auction History
Continental Fastback Sports Saloon
Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC1LB
Engine Num: BCB1
Model Year: 1953
Profile and Auction History
Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC20A
Engine Num: BCA19
Model Year: 1953
Profile and Auction History

Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC25A
Engine Num: BCA24
Model Year: 1953
Profile and Auction History
Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC9C
Model Year: 1953
Profile
Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Model Year: 1954
Profile

Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Model Year: 1954
Sport Saloon
Bentley R-Type Sport Saloon

Coachbuilder: James Young
Model Year: 1954
Profile
Sport Saloon
Bentley R-Type Sport Saloon

Coachbuilder: James Young
Model Year: 1954
Profile

Fastback Coupe
Bentley R-Type Fastback Coupe

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Model Year: 1954
Profile
Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Model Year: 1954
Drophead Coupe
Bentley R-Type Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Model Year: 1954
Profile

Drophead Coupe
Bentley R-Type Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Chassis Num: B132LTN
Model Year: 1954
Profile
Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Coachbuilder: Park Ward & Co.
Chassis Num: BC29D
Engine Num: BED28
Model Year: 1954
Profile
Fastback Coupe
Bentley R-Type Fastback Coupe

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC2LD
Model Year: 1954
Profile and Auction History

Continental Fastback
Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC35LC
Model Year: 1954
Profile
Saloon
Bentley R-Type Saloon

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC38LC
Model Year: 1954
Profile
Coupe
Bentley R-Type Coupe

Coachbuilder: Franay
Chassis Num: BC51LC
Engine Num: BCC50
Model Year: 1954
Profile and Auction History

Fastback Coupe
Bentley R-Type Fastback Coupe

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC62LC
Model Year: 1954
Profile and Auction History
Drophead Coupe
Bentley R-Type Drophead Coupe

Coachbuilder: Henri Chapron
Chassis Num: BC63LC
Model Year: 1954
Profile
Fastback Coupe
Bentley R-Type Fastback Coupe

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC66LC
Engine Num: BCC65
Model Year: 1954
Profile and Auction History

Continental Fastback
Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Model Year: 1955
Profile
Continental Fastback
Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Model Year: 1955
Profile
Sports Coupe
Bentley R-Type Sports Coupe

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Model Year: 1955
Profile

Continental Fastback
Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC16LD
Model Year: 1955
Profile
Continental Fastback
no image available

Coachbuilder: Mulliner
Chassis Num: BC16LD
Model Year: 1955


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