1953 Bentley R-Type 4.5-Litre

The first Abbott two-door coupe to grace the R-type chassis made its debut at the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show, alongside an equivalent drophead design. The chassis on which these and the fourteen subsequent cars built differed from standard, having a lowered radiator and steering column rake, and carrying a 3.41 rear axle ratio. The Abbott coachwork, of similar design to that of the Mulliner-built Continentals, was penned by Peter Woodgate. It was not until May 1953 that a production version would be supplied to their first customer, being this car, B135SP, sold to Mr. R.R. Burton.

Subsequently, full ownership history is recorded in the car’s old buff logbook, the R-type having just three owners before being acquired by the present family in 1969, when it joined a stable of Bentley motor cars.

Correspondence with the former owner at the time suggested that the buyer was very happy with the car, but in keeping with the sporting nature of the marque, shortly after purchase the coupe was forwarded to S. Brunt of Silverdale to have a high-compression cylinder head fitted to improve performance. In the mid-1970s a more detailed restoration was undertaken.

However, from the mid-1980s she has seen little use until a recent recommissioning. Cosmetically the car can best be described as an older restoration; there are a few very minor areas of surface corrosion to the bodywork, but it is otherwise sound, and the chassis is in very good order. The interior leather and carpet present well, and the dash has the unusual additions of a Halda speedometer, 8-day clock and thermometer.

With its uprated engine specifications, and high ratio back axle, combined with one of the most attractive specialist coachwork designs of the post-war years, the rare Bentley offers excellent and stylish high-speed touring potential.