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1953 Bentley R-Type Convertible 4½ Litre Drophead Coupé

Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club and Bentley Drivers Club Concours winning car completely restored by Taylor’s.

This car came to us in 2000 as a complete car; however it was in what we call almost barn find condition. The two year long restoration saw a major engine rebuild including gear box, axle brakes, steering suspension and all coach work. The car was completely stripped to bare metal; it needed new trim, chrome and a reworked hydraulic hood mechanism. We found one front wing was significantly lower than the other so we had to completely reshape the nearside left hand front wing, this allowed us to re align the headlamp mounting pods.

All the engine and body work was carried out at Taylor’s workshops; we outsourced and supervised the soft wear work, joinery and paint.

At the end of this restoration project our client drove away in a delightful touring Bentley. Resplendent in its livery of burgundy and cream with burgundy hydraulically operated hood and burgundy hood back. Not surprisingly the motorcar won the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club and Bentley Drivers Club Concours Award.

Additional Information about the Bentley R-Type It is interesting to note; in June 1952 the R-Type was presented to the public and it owed its name to the fact that the VI series had by this time reached the chassis letter R.  It became one of the most popular Bentleys ever built.

Rolls-Royce commenced production post-war with the Silver Wraith and Bentley MkVI models. The traditional separate chassis was retained for the two newcomers, but for the first time there was standard coachwork. This new ‘standard steel’ body – produced by the Pressed Steel Company, of Oxford – was available at first only on the Bentley, the equivalent Rolls-Royce – the Silver Dawn – not appearing until 1949. The range featured a new design of independent front suspension, hydraulic front brakes and a new 4,257cc, six-cylinder, ‘F-head’ (inlet-over-exhaust) power unit destined for enlargement to 4,566cc in 1951. A much-needed improvement to the standard bodywork arrived in mid-1952 in the shape of an enlarged boot together with associated changes to the rear wings and suspension, subsequent models being known as the R-Type Bentley and E-Series Silver Dawn. The two newcomers were the first Rolls-Royce products available with automatic transmission, the company having opted for General Motors’ Hydra-Matic, a state-of-the-art four-speed unit permitting manual selection. The standard R-Type was a lively performer, achieving 106mph in silence and reaching 50mph from standstill in 10 seconds despite a kerb weight approaching two tons.
As usual, the R-Type could be ordered in chassis form for bodying by specialist coachbuilders, this manual transmission example being the work of Rolls-Royce’s subsidiary, Park Ward Ltd. This car is one of only 25 R-Type’s bodied in this style by Park Ward.