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BENTLEY CONTINENTAL CAR

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BENTLEY CONTINENTAL (1952-1955) CAR HISTORY

Car review on BENTLEY CONTINENTAL

The Bentley Continental was one of motoring's ultimates in the 1950s. It was not only the fastest genuine four-seater car in the world - it could top 120 mph (193 kph) with ease - but also one of the most beautiful: big, swoopy and as stunningly elegant as anything from the fashionable design houses of Italy.


Shaped in Rolls-Royce's Hucknall wind tunnel under the direction of styling supremo John Blatchley, this was Crewe's flagship owner-driver super-coupe, its bold, distinctive fastback profile influenced, though no one would admit it, by the Cadillac 62 Series coupe of 1948. The Bentley grille still stood tall and proud, as on the R-Type saloon, but at the rear those hallmark embryonic tail fins kept the Continental tracking straight at high speed. The Continental's alloy bodywork was built in London by HJ Mulliner on a special high-performance chassis.


The gearing was higher than on the saloon, and the 4566cc engine breathed more freely thanks to a higher compression ratio and a big-bore exhaust system. There was a weight-loss regime for this, the first sporting Bentley since the 1930s: bumpers were made of aluminium, not steel, and, inside, the armchair seats of the R-Type saloon had given way to smaller sports buckets with alloy frames. Even so, the Continental was no Spartan lightweight: four people and all their luggage could travel in magnificent comfort in familiar drawing-room surroundings, the driver enjoying a full set of instruments that included a rev counter and an oil temperature gauge, items not normally deemed necessary on the saloon. Out on the road that tall gearing gave the Continental a fantastically long stride with 80 mph (128 kph) on tap in second, 100 mph (160 kph) in third and 124 mph (199 kph) in top, all achieved in fuss-free refinement. For the seriously rich, there was no faster or more stylish way to escape austere, post-war Britain.


Later, the original lightweight R-Type Continental concept was watered down. Tycoons wanted fatter seats, drivers wanted automatic gearboxes, steel bumpers replaced aluminium and before long the Continental was just another heavy coachbuilt Bentley, albeit superbly handsome. The Continental look survived on the "S" Series chassis of 1955, but by then the Continental appellation applied to all coachbuilt Bentleys. Most were desirable, but only that original R-Type will go down as one of the greats, in its time perhaps the finest car in the world.

BENTLEY CONTINENTAL

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

ENGINE TYPE

Straight six

CAPACITY

4566 cc (later 4887 cc)

POWER

Not quoted

TRANSMISSION

4-speed manual

TOP SPEED

124 mph (199 km/h)

NUMBER BUILT

208

 

 

 

 

 

 
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BENTLEY CONTINENTAL CAR

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Shopping Mall :BENTLEY CONTINENTAL Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory: BENTLEY CONTINENTAL Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Classic, Classic Car, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car

Site Description: BENTLEY CONTINENTAL Used Car History reviews and guide on classic and older model cars. Including car designers from Italy and Germany. Learn history of cars from classic, exotic, used, new to prototype model cars.

Cars Topics: BENTLEY CONTINENTAL Classic Cars, Price, Prices, For Sale, Part, Restoration,
Classifieds, Classified ads, pictures, muscle car, picture, and photo , AutoCheck, KELLEY BLUE BOOK, USED CAR HISTORY, VIN number, VIN SEARCH, Lemon Car Check