Stunning Bentley R-Type Continental headlines Bonhams|Cars 81MM sale

03rd April 2024
Ethan Jupp

What is the most beautiful luxury car ever made? Not sportscar, or sports GT, but luxury car. It’s a curious question because out-and-out luxury cars – think Rolls-Royce, Maybach, Bentley and the like – are often quite garish, ungainly and unseemly. Not this. Not the Bentley R-Type Continental, which whose Mulliner coachwork we’d hazard to suggest lends it the title of most beautiful luxury car in the world.


That has at least partially to be reflected in the values. This one is set to sell for between £450,000 and £550,000 at the Bonhams|Cars 81st Members’ Meeting presented by Audrain Motorsport sale.

Presented in stunning Regal Red with a beige interior trim, this is an automatic car with the 4.9-litre engine. Chassis ‘BC38D’ left the production line in August 1954, with special options including leather-wrapped sun visors and even an organ type accelerator, which offset the pedal 3/4 to the right.

It’s lived a life, this Continental, as it was of course built to do. It had some seven owners in its first 26 years of life and covered 175,677 miles. The current owner has had it since 1980.

That’s a run of ownership covering almost two-thirds of this car’s life. With plenty of history and significant mechanical works to the engine as recently as 2014, this Continental is presented in fine fettle, though the aspiring continent-crossing buyer might want to have someone give it the once-over before heading for the Channel Tunnel.


In its day of course the R-Type Continental was the fastest way to shuttle four passengers in consummate effortless comfort across, well, continents. It is to this private-jet-for-the-road capability that it owes its name. They’re a rarified thing, too, with this being one of just 208 made.

While it’s not the king of the road that it was in the mid century today, this Mulliner-bodied beauty is known and adored by all who really know their cars and is surely, one of Bentley’s all-time greats.

As above, this R-Type Continental will be crossing the block at the 81MM Bonhams|Cars sale on 14th April. If nothing but the best will do, you’d best get bidding.

Saturday tickets, weekend tickets and grandstand passes have now sold out for the 81st Members’ Meeting presented by Audrain Motorsport. Sunday tickets are limited so book now to join us for the 2024 motorsport season opener. You don’t want to miss it.

  • Bentley

  • R-Type

  • 81MM

  • Members' Meeting

  • Bonhams|Cars

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