A Passion for Elegance | Lot 102
1953 Bentley R-Type Saloon
CHF74,750 | Sold
| Eschen, Liechtenstein
19 June 2021
- One of the nicest, best-kept R-Types on the market today
- Original delivery to Geneva
- Very attractive older restoration by marque specialists
- Accompanied by a FIVA Identity Card and copies of build documentation
Bentley resumed production following World War II with the Mark VI, the first model to be sold by the factory complete with coachwork, a “Standard Steel Saloon.” This was succeeded six years later by the R-Type, which was visually quite similar in its handsome, full-figured design, but rode an eight-inch-longer chassis and boasted “swept” rear end styling that provided additional luggage space. The model remained in production into 1955, and it continues to enjoy great popularity worldwide for its comforts and excellent driving characteristics.
The Standard Steel Saloon offered here, chassis number B11SP, was originally ordered by the longstanding Geneva agents Garage de l’Athénée and delivered in July 1953, equipped with the same engine that it retains today. It was outfitted in right-hand drive with a right-hand shift manual gearbox, metric instrumentation, and high-frequency horn; the Bentley “B” radiator mascot could not be mounted at the time, for safety reasons, and was supplied loose in the glove box. A sliding sunshine roof was standard equipment, as were the folding picnic tables to the back of the front seat, a wonderful classic Bentley touch. The original owner, Jacques Stadler of the Villa Le Rivage in Pregny-Chambésy, was issued a guarantee on 9 July 1953. Undoubtedly the new automobile cut quite a figure on the streets and mountain roads of Geneva.
Between 1985 and 1986, the R-Type was extensively restored by British craftsman Roy Creech, a highly respected former employee of James Young, and Swiss firm Schmohl AG; in the course of this work, it was refinished to the present Blue with Tan leather upholstery—and crowned with the mascot, at long last. The automobile has since been regularly used and has a charming patina in areas, with some stone chips to the paint and an area of wear in the joint between the right rear wing and the body. Nonetheless it is still extremely attractive, with its matching-numbers engine still under the bonnet, and is undoubtedly one of the best-kept R-Types presently available on the market.