2007 Shannons Melbourne Summer Classic Auction
1954 Bentley R-Type Saloon
Result: PASSED IN
|Engine||In-line 6-cylinder, 4566cc|
This lot is no longer available
The Mark VI range was the first post-war production car from Bentley and marked a shift away from cars being individually coachbuilt to customer specifications and towards standardised bodywork. The Mark VI was assembled at Crewe, with the vast majority receiving a four-door saloon body made by Pressed Steel. The smaller, lighter Mark VI was oriented towards the owner-driver when launched in May 1946 and won universal praise for its excellent performance and road manners. Powering the new Bentley was a 4257cc B60 six-cylinder engine with light alloy cylinder head and twin carburettors, developing an estimated 130 bhp - making a genuine 100 mph possible. The chassis had coil-sprung front suspension and rode on a 120-inch wheelbase, resulting in a more compact vehicle when compared with pre-war Bentleys. In 1952, the engine capacity was lifted to 4.5-litres and the model was renamed the R-Type, with a larger boot and the option of automatic transmission for the first time. The R-Type remained in production until 1955 and just 2320 were made, the vast majority of these with standard steel coachwork. One significant derivative was the first of the legendary Bentley Continentals, a high-speed express with beautiful, streamlined styling by H.J.Mulliner. During the lifespan of the R-Type and its predecessor, the Mark VI, both models sold particularly well in Australia, making us the largest export market in the world for these cars. Today, the Mark VI and R-Type Bentleys are justifiably recognised as underrated classic post-war saloons, with strong performance, excellent build quality and plenty of character available for a very reasonable outlay.