Image credits: © Bentley.

1954 Bentley R Type

Post-War Rolls-Royce production commenced with the Silver Wraith and Bentley MkVI models. For the first time, standard coachwork was used. It was produced by the Pressed Steel Company, of Oxford and initially available only on the Bentley. By 1949, it was being used on the Silver Dawn. Both featured a new design of independent front suspension, hydraulic front brakes and a new 4,257cc, six-cylinder, 'F-head' (inlet-over-exhaust) power unit. In 1951, it was enlarged to 4,566cc. All R Type models used iron block aluminum-head inline 6 cylinder engines fed through twin SU carburetors. The 278.6 cubic-inch unit offered 130 horsepower. Improvements were made to the standard bodywork by mid-1952 in the shape of an enlarged trunk, reworked rear wings and suspension. The subsequent models became known as the R-Type Bentley and E-Series Silver Dawn. These were the first Rolls-Royce products available with automatic transmission, the company having opted for General Motors' Hydra-Matic four-speed unit permitting manual selection. The R-Type could achieved a top speed in excess of 100 mph and could reach 50mph from stand-still in 10 seconds despites its curb weight of nearly two tons. Production cased in 1955 after 2,320 R-Types had been built.

The two-door Continental was produced principally for the domestic home market with just 208 built, 165 of these in right-hand drive guise. The chassis were produced at the Rolls-Royce Crewe factory and shared many components with the standard R-Type. Coachwork for the majority of cars was completed by H. J. Mulliner & Co. who mainly built them in Fastback Coupé form.


by Daniel Vaughan | May 2019
1954 Bentley R Type vehicle information

Fastback Coupe
Coachwork: Mulliner

Chassis Num: BC62LC

Slowly the effect of World War II began to wane. However, most of the British Isles, like the rest of Europe, was still rebuilding. Rationing was still a part of everyday life; chains that only allowed an individual to go just so far.....[continue reading]

1954 Bentley R Type vehicle information

Fastback Coupe
Coachwork: Mulliner

Chassis Num: BC2LD

Just 207 (some sources say 208) R-Type Continentals were built for the fortunate few who could afford the 'idea of perfection.'....[continue reading]

1954 Bentley R Type vehicle information

Saloon
Coachwork: Park Ward & Co.

Chassis Num: BC29D
Engine Num: BED28

After the prototype Bentley Corniche II was launched, the production cars that followed were first called the Continental Sports Saloons but were later referred to as the R Type Continental. Between 1952 and 1955, 208 of these cars were built and 15 ....[continue reading]

1954 Bentley R Type vehicle information

Saloon
Coachwork: Mulliner

Chassis Num: BC38LC

This Bentley R-Type Continental BC38LC) was first delivered to importer J.S. Inskip of New York. Briggs Cunningham was an enthusiastic Bentley R-Type Continental owner, and Cunningham's team manager, Alfred Momo, specified some of the original fittin....[continue reading]

1954 Bentley R Type vehicle information

Saloon

The R-Type Bentley was the second standard steel model produced by Rolls-Royce after WW II. The 4.5 inch Big Bore engine was capable of speeds well over 100 MPH. This right hand lady is correct for the period after a thorough restoration and has plac....[continue reading]

1954 Bentley R Type vehicle information

Sport Saloon
Coachwork: James Young

- Specially commissioned by Jack Barclay himself, for testing abroad in Europe, 1954.....[continue reading]

1954 Bentley R Type vehicle information

Coupe
Coachwork: Franay

Chassis Num: BC51LC
Engine Num: BCC50

A very special variant of the iconic R-Type Continental Fastback, on one of 24 left-drive central gear change four-speed chassis, was sent to Franco-Brittanic Automobiles December 21, 1953. It was driven from the port to Paris by an FBA chauffeur sea....[continue reading]

1954 Bentley R Type vehicle information

Fastback Coupe
Coachwork: Mulliner

Chassis Num: BC66LC
Engine Num: BCC65

After the Second World War, Rolls-Royce began preparations for, what would become known as, the Standard Steel Saloon. The first of these was introduced in 1946 on the Bentley Mark VI. It had standard coachwork and appealed to a wide audience. Tho....[continue reading]

1954 Bentley R Type vehicle information

Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Park Ward & Co.

Bentley relocated car production to its aero engine factory inn Crewe, Cheshire, England, soon after World War II and resumed manufacture of luxury motorcars. The first postwar Bentley was the 4,257cc Mark VI in 1946; the R-Type was introduced in 195....[continue reading]

1954 Bentley R Type vehicle information

Fastback Coupe
Coachwork: Mulliner

At the time it was built, the R-Type Continental was the fastest production four-seater in the world, capable of speeds approaching 115 mph in total comfort. Its wonderfully streamlined coachwork was the result of collaboration between H.J. Mulliner ....[continue reading]

1954 Bentley R Type vehicle information

Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Park Ward & Co.

Chassis Num: B132LTN

After World War II, Rolls-Royce embarked on a engineering approach that resulted in key commonality in components with Bentley and, for the first time, began building complete automobiles (both chassis and bodies). However, the companies also supplie....[continue reading]

1954 Bentley R Type vehicle information

Sport Saloon
Coachwork: James Young

Following World War II, Rolls-Royce transferred production of its motorcars from Derby to its wartime aero-engine facility at Crewe. For the first time, the company built complete cars, rather than chassis-only. Standard bodies were styled by the com....[continue reading]

1954 Bentley R Type vehicle information

Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Henri Chapron

Chassis Num: BC63LC

This Bentley R-Type Continental was delivered in May of 1954 wearing coachwork by H.J. Mulliner. In 1956, while racing his nephew in a Porsche, the owner rolled the car, badly damaging the coachwork. The price of the proposal was too high, so the own....[continue reading]

1954 Bentley R Type vehicle information

Continental Fastback
Coachwork: Mulliner

Chassis Num: BC35LC

Unlike the Bentley R-Type and the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn, there was no 'standard' R-Type Continental. Within the production run of 2,320 R-Types, just 208 were R-Type Continentals. ....[continue reading]

Fastback Coupe by Mulliner
Chassis #: BC62LC 
Fastback Coupe by Mulliner
Chassis #: BC2LD 
Saloon by Park Ward & Co.
Chassis #: BC29D 
Saloon by Mulliner
Chassis #: BC38LC 
Saloon
 
Sport Saloon by James Young
 
Coupe by Franay
Chassis #: BC51LC 
Fastback Coupe by Mulliner
Chassis #: BC66LC 
Drophead Coupe by Park Ward & Co.
 
Fastback Coupe by Mulliner
 
Drophead Coupe by Park Ward & Co.
Chassis #: B132LTN 
Sport Saloon by James Young
 
Drophead Coupe by Henri Chapron
Chassis #: BC63LC 
Continental Fastback by Mulliner
Chassis #: BC35LC 

Related Reading : Bentley R Type and Continental History

In 1931 Rolls-Royce acquired Bentley. From that point, the two marques began to show similarities, such as design and mechanics. By the mid 1950s, the marques were mostly the same except for badging and engine. The R-Types are memorable because they were still their own distinct model. In 1952 at the Earls Court Motor Show, Bentley displayed their R-Type model. Bodywork was mostly handled by H.J.....
Continue Reading >>

Related Reading : Bentley R Type and Continental History

Following WWII, the British faced a sobering time during the early 1950s. Commodities and luxuries that were once commonplace, were still subject to rationing. Taxes continued to be piled on the British people, and frozen wages kept inflation in a constant battle. Following a decade of prolonged asceticism, the petrol rationing was finally lifted on May 26th 1950. The British motorist was once....
Continue Reading >>

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