Today, the heart of the Bentley line is the Continental GT, and its origins, as you might expect, are historic. Inspired by both the R-Type Continental name and the design, the legendary car celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.
The first deliveries of the R-Type Continental were made in 1952, when it became the fastest four-seater on earth. It was also the most expensive car in production, costing 6,928 pounds. That’s 140,156 pounds ($ 176,249 at current exchange rates) in today’s currency. This is not true, because in 1952 it was four times more expensive than the average house in England.
The car you bought for this money was very impressive. Inspired by Bentley’s pre-war experience in aerodynamics, the company decided to create a shiny coupe based on the R-Type Bentley interior. The model was named “Continental” for the first time in its history.
Also read: Continental GT Speed DNA traces its roots to the R-type continental
Like the R-Type, the Continental is powered by a 4,566 cm vertical six. For the new model, it is a standard car with 140 hp. (104 kW / 142 PS) instead of 153 hp. (114 kW / 155 PS) and the final drive ratio in the transmission was high. These changes were combined to create a vehicle with an average speed of 118.75 miles (191.1 km / h) in five laps on the Monlhary road near Paris.
In total, the automaker has released only 208 models of R-Type Continental, which makes it as rare as it is today. Its 193 corps was designed by H.J. Mulliner, five by Franey, three by Graber and one by Farina, and Park Ward was designed by four pilots and two coupes.
When Bentley tried to start its new era in 2003, he wrote that he deliberately chose the name Continental. The design of the new car was not only inspired by the R-Type Continental, but also its statement that it will be the fastest four-seater on earth since 1952 has been a direct tribute to the car.
more photos …