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Amelia Island | Lot 153

2002 Bentley Continental R Mulliner 'Wide Body'

A Gentleman's Collection: The Pride & Passion of Orin Smith

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$165,000 USD | Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida

10 March 2017


Chassis No.
Serial No.
SCBZB25E62CX01793
CX01793
  • Among the fastest, most powerful four-passenger cars of its era
  • Very rare; one of fewer than 158 built
  • Excellent original condition with flawless cosmetics; 12,450 actual miles
  • Offered with Bentley Motors build and delivery information

420 bhp, 6,750 cc OHV V-8 engine with Bosch K Motronic fuel injection and Garrett turbocharger with electronic transient boost control, four-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel independent double wishbone suspension with automatic ride control, and ventilated front and plain rear power disc brakes. Wheelbase: 120.5 in.

By the mid-1980s, Bentley Motors was finding itself – or, rather, looking back to its past, when the company produced not “badge-engineered” versions of Rolls-Royces, but unique performance automobiles all its own. Specifically in the company’s thoughts was the R-Type Continental, the swift coachbuilt grand tourer, referred to in the 1950s as “the modern magic carpet” and beloved by celebrities and enthusiasts worldwide. The R-Type Continental formed the inspiration for years of research that resulted in the introduction of the Bentley Continental R in March 1991. A large, hand-built coupe, the new Continental R was one of the fastest four-passenger cars in the world—and among the most expensive. It rapidly became the gold standard for a new generation of socialites craving luxury and speed.

Several variations of the new Continental would be produced during the car’s 12-year run, in various configurations and potencies. Among them was the Continental R Mulliner, introduced in 1999, which combined the standard “Wide Body” R body shell with the 420-horsepower, turbocharged engine of the short-wheelbase Continental T. Introduced to answer requests for a car with “T” power but additional passenger legroom, the Continental R Mulliner was further distinguished by its flared wheel arches, aerodynamic door sills, sports bumpers, a single large-diameter tailpipe, steering 20 percent quicker than standard, and special badging. Depending upon the source, between 131 and 158 examples were produced over four years.

The car offered here was originally delivered through Bentley Downers Grove in suburban Chicago, finished in Black over Cotswold with black carpets and matching mouton overlays, as well as chrome instrument bezels, drilled aluminum pedals, and chrome wheels. Driven only 7,725 miles prior to its addition to the Smith Collection, it has recorded a total of 12,450 miles at the time of cataloguing, what Bentley expert Diane Brandon noted as “scarcely run in.” Condition throughout is excellent, with the interior displaying only the most minor signs of use, and the exterior being cosmetically flawless and virtually as-new. In addition to its Bentley Motors build and delivery details and a clean CARFAX report, this pristine Continental R Mulliner is offered with its original owner’s manual and pair of Bentley umbrellas.

It is easy to imagine this handsome beast alongside an R-Type Continental in similar livery . . . just as, indeed, it has spent the last few years in Orin Smith’s prized collection.

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