Open Roads, February | Lot 146
2002 Bentley Continental R Le Mans Series
€132,000 EUR | Sold
| Karlskron, Germany
19 - 28 February 2021
- One of just 21 examples built for the 2002 model year
- Currently showing less than 18,000 miles from new
- U.S. specification example
- Retains its original owners and service manuals
- Arguably the most desirable variant of the Continental R
Making a triumphant appearance at Le Mans in 2001 with its EXP Speed 8 sports prototype, the legendary marque Bentley returned to the Circuit de la Sarthe for the first time in seventy-one years. Finishing a very impressive 3rd overall, Bentley had greater aspirations and was able to secure an overall win at Le Mans two years later. That victory in 2003 would be the marque’s sixth, placing Bentley fifth in overall wins at motor racing’s most grueling endurance event.
The Continental R Le Mans Series was launched to celebrate Bentley’s return to Le Mans. These cars are easily recognizable by their “Le Mans Series” badging on the front three-quarter panels, quad tailpipes, wider wheel arches, and five-spoke wheels with red brake calipers. Inside, each car was outfitted with elegant walnut trim, upholstery with winged B motifs, drilled pedals, unique treadplate plaques, and unique instruments finished in dark green. Under the hood a smooth and powerful 420 bhp, 6.75-liter turbocharged V-8 engine mated with an automatic transmission provides a copious amount of performance that is expected in a brand with such a rich racing pedigree. Produced only for the 2001 and 2002 model year, a total of only 46 of these stylish coupes were made. For 2002, Bentley Continental R Mulliner and Bentley Continental R Le Mans production totaled a mere 21 cars combined.
This stunning example presents exceptionally well throughout. Buyers could choose from three different colours: Black Oriole, Le Mans Racing Green and the sporty shade seen here, Silver Storm. Coupled with a contrasting black interior, it exudes British sophistication.
A LHD, U.S.-delivery example, this car was first registered in Delray Beach, Florida in December of 2001, according to the accompanying CARFAX report, which reports no accidents or damage from its time in the U.S. It was seldom driven, remaining in Florida most of its life, accumulating a mere 1,249 miles by 2008. Subsequently, the Bentley was exported to Switzerland that same year and was registred in Germany in 2019 by the same owner. Today it shows less than 18,000 miles from new and begs to be used and enjoyed on the open road.