1952 Bentley R Type Special


  • Bespoke two-seater body 
  • Upgraded and improved engine
  • Electric power steering

The Appeal

The Bentley presented for sale here is no ordinary R Type, instead it is a unique ‘special’ which has been fitted with two-seater bodywork and used extensively for reliable continental touring.

Not only has a bespoke body been fitted by its current owner, but the engine has been replaced with a larger unit from an S1, as well as receiving numerous upgrades to improve its performance. 

The car is now presented in good condition throughout, with a comfortable passenger compartment and that all-important imposing road presence. It will certainly make a fine touring motorcar, or would be equally at home on the quiet rural roads closer to home. 

The History and Paperwork

  • First registered 19th December 1952
  • Originally a Standard Steel saloon
  • Converted in 1975 into a Vanden Plas style tourer
  • Purchased by the vendor in 2006, who had the two-seater roadster body fitted
  • Maintained by Hearne Motors of Canterbury while in the current owner’s possession 
  • Has been successfully driven to Croatia, Italy, France and Switzerland
  • V5C in vendor’s name
  • Extensive invoices for parts, servicing and mechanical improvements
  • Road Tax and MOT exempt 

 The Interior

  • Excellent leather upholstery
  • Bird’s eye maple veneered dashboard
  • Luggage storage to the rear

The fabulous two-seater body fitted to this Bentley is fitted with a spacious bench seat and, along with the right-hand gear change, this makes the passenger compartment feel extremely spacious. The leather seat covers are beautifully mellowed through gentle use, showing a warm glow built up over many years.

The driver is presented with a sizeable steering wheel, but assistance is provided by electric power steering. Bird’s eye maple veneer tastefully adorns the dashboard and there is a full set of gauges and switches fitted. The carpeting is a little worn in places, but two sturdy rubber mats protect it in the footwells. 

To the rear, there is a sizeable luggage compartment, something not always seen on specials. It accommodates a full size spare wheel with additional space for luggage. 

 The Exterior 

  • Custom-built two-seater body ordered by the present owner
  • Fetching two-tone paintwork
  • Sleek, sporting design

Originally fitted with a Standard Steel body, this R Type received a Vanden Plas style tourer body in the 1970s. This remained with the car until the present owner purchased it in 2006 and had its present body built. The two-seater design allows for sleek, flowing lines to be maintained, giving this car a decidedly sporting look. 

The paintwork is generally good and presentable, but there are, of course, a few scratches and chips to be found. To the rest, the body is finished in vinyl over a wooden frame. This appears to have aged well and remains in good condition. 

Weather protection is provided by a fabric hood over a bentwood and steel frame. The fabric appears to be in generally good condition, with only light sighs of use, and the small rear window remains clear. There are no windows but some weather protection is provided by a pair of wind deflectors attached to the windscreen frame. 

 The Mechanics 

  • Engine replaced with a 4.9-litre unit from an S1
  • Compression ratio raised
  • Triple S.U. carburettors and a six-branch exhaust manifold

Lifting either side of the bonnet reveals this car’s sizeable six-cylinder power plant. But it is not quite as you might expect: the original 4.6-litre engine has been replaced with a later 4.9-litre S1 engine. It has the n been further upgraded with triple carburettors, and a six-branch exhaust manifold. The engine bay is a delight to looks at, and appears to be clean and tidy.

The rear axle has been upgraded to a 2.92:1 final drive ratio other improvements include a raised compression ratio and electric power steering. These upgrades work together to make this an eminently drivable car, as evidenced by the current owner’s long-distance continental touring to places as far afield as Dubrovnik in Croatia. 

We’re told that this Bentley has been regularly maintained by Hearne Motors of Canterbury, a Rolls-Royce and Bentley service agent. 


A superbly sporting continental tourer, which cuts a dashing figure and won’t fail to draw admiring glances wherever it goes.

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.

A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.

All bidding, buying and offers are subject to our Terms and Conditions.

Please see our FAQs here and our Terms & Conditions here

Vehicle specification
  • Year 1952
  • Make Bentley
  • Model R Type Special
  • Colour Green and Cream
  • Odometer 3,077 Miles
  • Engine size 4887
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Canterbury
  • Location Kent
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
32 bids
  • spacege•••• £43,000 29/01/23
  • robert-•••• £42,500 29/01/23
  • [email protected]•••• £41,250 29/01/23
  • spacege•••• £41,000 29/01/23
  • balmeru•••• £40,000 29/01/23
  • spacege•••• £39,000 29/01/23
  • balmeru•••• £38,500 29/01/23
  • [email protected]•••• £38,000 29/01/23
  • balmeru•••• £37,500 29/01/23
  • spacege•••• £35,500 29/01/23

The Gallery

The safest way to buy a classic car online

Car & Classic's secure payment system protects buyers and sellers. At the end of the auction, the winning bidder transfers payment into a third-party escrow account. Once the transfer of the vehicle is complete, both parties confirm they are happy with the sale and the money is released to the seller.
Safe, secure payment process

About Max Bids

The max bid process allows you to bid without any hassle.
Enter your maximum bid and we will then bid on your behalf to ensure you're the highest bidder - just enough to keep you in the lead and only up until your maximum.


C&C prevent auction snipers from bidding in the last seconds to win an auction.
Auctions are extended by 3-minutes if anyone bids within the last 2 minutes to allow other bidders to react and counter-bid.

Auto-bidding increments

  • If your maximum bid is equal to or below the reserve price, your maximum bid will be applied in full if you are the highest bidder.
  • If you are the highest bidder and place a maximum bid above the reserve, we will automatically put in the reserve as your first bid.
    • Once the reserve has been met, Car & Classic will make sure you are the highest bidder using only the bidding increments stated below.
    • We will keep you in the lead up until your maximum bid OR the increment closest to your maximum bid, providing your maximum bid is enough to cover the increment value.

Bid Amount Increment
£0 to £10,000 £100.00
£10,000 to £50,000 £250.00
£50,000 to £100,000 £500.00
£100,000+ £1000.00

Automatically outbid immediately

When you place a max bid and are outbid immediately that means that another bidder has placed a max bid limit which is higher than yours.
You can bid again and we will use our automatic bid system to try and get you as the highest bidder.

Matching max bids

When there are two max bids of the same value, the one placed first remains the lead bidder.

What are pre-bids?

A pre-bid means you’re able to place a bid before the official start of the auction.
You will be notified whether or not you are the highest bidder when the auction starts.

Problem with your bid

Bids are contractually binding. To help protect you, we have some rules in place if we think it's been mistyped. Please check and amend what you have entered.