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  • Model Year: 1955
  • Trans: Automatic
  • Fuel Type: Gas
  • Ext color: Ivory
  • Int color: Dark Red Leather

The R Type is the second series of post-war Bentley automobiles, replacing the Mark VI. Essentially a larger-boot version of the Mk VI, the R type is regarded by some as a stop-gap before the introduction of the S series cars in 1955. As with its predecessor, a standard body was available as well coachbuilt versions by firms including H.J.Mulliner, Park Ward, Harold Radford, Freestone and Webb and others. Even by this date, there was little difference (other than the radiator grilles and the carburetion) between the standard Bentley R Type and the Rolls Royce Silver Dawn, though Bentley was still the more popular marquee. The vast majority of cars produced were Bentleys. Some 2,500 units were manufactured during R Type’s run.


During development it was referred to as the Bentley Mark VII. Indeed the chassis cards for these cars describe them as Bentley 7. The R Type name which is now usually applied stems from chassis series RT. The front of the saloon model was identical to the Mark VI, but the boot (trunk) was almost doubled in capacity and the engine increased in displacement from 4.25 to 4.5 litres (as fitted to the later Mark VI). For buyers looking for a more distinctive car, a decreasing percentage had custom coachwork available from the dwindling number of UK coachbuilders. These ranged from the grand flowing lines of Freestone and Webb’s conservative, almost prewar shapes, to the practical conversions of Harold Radford which including a clamshell style tailgate and folding rear seats.

Brakes and Suspension

The suspension was independent at the front using coil springs with semi elliptic leaf springs at the rear. The powerful brakes used 12.25 in (311 mm) drums all round and were operated hydraulically at the front and mechanically at the rear via a gearbox driven servo.


A four door saloon with automatic transmission tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1953 had a top speed of 101.7 mph (163.7 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 13.25 seconds. A fuel consumption of 15.5 miles per imperial gallon (18.2 L/100 km; 12.9 mpg-US) was recorded.


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