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Signage: 1954 Bentley, R-Type Continental, body by Franay. Production of the Bentley R-Type started in 1952 and continued through 1955; a great departure from Bentley's traditional chauffeur-driven sedan, the Continental was designed to be driven by the owner-enthusiast. Only 208 cars were built during tghe three-year period and just 43 had left-hand drive.
Profiles of the Continental and the Bentley Mark VI standard sedan are indistinguishable up to the rear edge of the front doors; beyond that point the "fastback" design incorporates a rear window and a sweeping trunk lid that results in a more spacious luggage compartment. The R-Type Continental has a 4,566 cc engine (4.5-liter), a four-speed manual transmission with floor-mounted shifter, and a rear axle geared for high-speed touring; the R-Type can maintain 120-mph for hours without breaking a sweat. Most Continentals were fastbacks built by H.J. Mulliner & Co. in London; Park Ward in London built six, Graber in Switzerland built three, Franay in Paris bodied five cars, and Pininfarina in Italy created only one.
Specifications: ENGINE: 6 cylinders, In-line; 3.75" bore; 4.5" stroke; 298.2 cubic inch; 122 hp. @ 4400 rpm. BODY/COACHBUILDER: Franay Carrossier, Paris, France; MANUFACTURER: Bentley Motor Cars Ltd., London, Crewe, England