RESERVE LOWERED-1994 Bentley Continental R


  • Rare and highly capable Bentley coupe, the first distinct Bentley model since 1965
  • Remained with its first owner for 27 years
  • Very low 39,599 miles, in excellent condition with attractive specification
  • One of just 1,236 Rs built over 12 years
  • Fully hand-built Bentley using durable and proven running gear
  • Turbocharged power delivering 0-60mph in 6.6secs
  • Highly rated by reviewers in period for its remarkably good handling
  • Private registration included in sale
  • Will be sold with 12 months MOT

The Appeal

The 1980s Mulsanne Turbo reminded buyers of Bentley’s pummelling sporting heritage but it was the Continental R of 1991 that really set the groundwork for the firm’s current rejuvenation.  Big, brutal and beguiling, it showed that luxury, comfort and style didn’t have to be divorced from exhilarating performance.

The Continental R was Bentley’s first distinct model for 26 years – rather than a rebadged Rolls Royce - and its last fully hand-built motor.  Very expensive – it was the most expensive production car in the world at its launch - and bespoke, just 1,854 left the factory over 12 years of which only 1,234 were ‘standard’ Continental Rs like this car.  

This early 1994 model benefits from the more powerful Cosworth-enhanced version of the trusty 6.75litre V8 motor, generating 355bhp.  Finished in black, accented with red pinstriping, with a black leather interior it is a very low mileage car in superb condition.  It has remained in the same family since new and full service history by Bentley and specialists.  These big, distinctive Bentleys are surely one of the firm’s finest ever cars and this one delivers a sense of occasion few cars can surely match.

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The History And Paperwork

  • First registered on 24th January 1994
  • Bentley factory service book included
  • MOT records support the displayed mileage
  • Supplied new by H R Owen of London
  • Serviced by Bentley dealers H R Owen and Jack Barclay and more recently by specialist The Chelsea Workshop
  • Schedule 2 service in June 2021
  • Sparing use since 2006, covering just 12,000 miles
  • Has covered less than 400 miles since last MOT in April 2022
  • Will be sold with a new 12 months MOT

The Interior

  • Black leather with contrasting walnut veneer, all in very good condition commensurate with mileage
  • High specification including electric front sports seats with memory and heating 
  • Bespoke Bentley interior with rev counter, auxiliary dials in centre console and central gear shifter, unlike most previous models
  • Quality Alpine aftermarket stereo system
  • Individual rear seats providing comfortable seating for up to four adults
  • Lambswool overmats 
  • Good carpets and other interior fittings such as door trims and cappings

Where the Mulsanne Turbo shared most of its interior architecture with the Rolls Royce Silver Spirit, the Continental R ploughed a new and distinctive path.  The Interior of this car is testament to the care and attention of not just the firm’s craftsmen but its designers too.  There are clear echoes of Bentleys of old in the central auxiliary dials and the general sense of sporting opulence.

The interior of this low mileage car reflects that limited use and the quality of the ingredients.  The attractive seats – sports seats in the front and individual ones in the back – are trimmed in very high quality black hide and generally in excellent condition.  Just some light creasing on the side of the driver’s seat base and again on the side bolster detract.  The driver’s door card also has some light scuff marks.  There is a light sheen of wear on the big leather steering wheel. 

The ample fixtures and fittings – there are lots of ‘surprise and delight’ chrome fittings – are complete and in very good condition.  Unlike in previous Bentleys, the gear selector is centrally mounted in the console, rather than on the steering column, to reflect the sporting nature of this car.  It is surrounded by acres of gorgeous wood veneer, all of it in very good condition with no obvious marks.  The cream leather headlining cleverly lightens the cabin and is in very good condition.  

The carpets are unmarked throughout and there are the original lambswool over mats in the boot.  The boot area is in similar excellent condition.

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The Exterior

  • Immaculate black paintwork with discreet red pinstriping 
  • Excellent 7-spoke 17inch alloy wheels with factory correct Avon Turbospeed tyres
  • Body fittings and chrome work in very good condition

The Continental R design began life as a Rolls Royce Corniche replacement, which makes its evolution into a Bentley even more remarkable.  It is a big and handsome shape but also unavoidably a Bentley, with clever echoes of previous models. 

This black finish of this car seems to particularly suit the shape, managing to make it look much more compact than its paper dimensions indicate.  This is, after all, a car that uses Rolls Royce’s SZ Platform, which underpinned the firm’s gargantuan 1980s saloons.  It is neatly broken up by the dark red coachlines along each side.

The paintwork is in superb condition with only very minor issues to note.  There is a chip on the offside of the rear bumper, a chip on the offside rear arch and on the offside B post.  
The substantial alloy wheels – new for 1994 model year cars - are all in very good condition.  Close inspection of the front nearside wheel shows a very small area of kerbing on the edge. 

The underside of the car reflects the paintwork, appearing solid and without any obvious issues.  There are signs of surface corrosion that may benefit from a wire brush and wax oil treatment.  The MOT history back to 2006 contains no advisories for structural defects.

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The Mechanics

  • 6.75litre turbocharged V8 with 1994-onwards factory Cosworth improvements lifting power to 355bhp
  • 4spd GM automatic gearbox with sport function
  • 0-60mph in 6.6secs
  • Self levelling hydraulic suspension with adaptive ride control that was highly rated for its handling by reviewers in period 
  • Full service history by Bentley main dealers and specialist The Chelsea Workshop
  • Schedule 2 service in June 2021

The Continental R got the turbocharged 6.75litre V8 engine pioneered in the Mulsanne Turbo.  For 1994 power increased to 355bhp thanks to the attentions of acclaimed tuner Cosworth.  It is enough to propel this big car to 60mph in 6.6secs.

Power is delivered to the rear wheels via a 4spd GM automatic gearbox.  The Continental R uses a modified version of the self-levelling hydraulic suspension system common to other Rolls Royce and Bentley models of the time.  The firm specially tuned it for a more sporting feel. Considering the soft and pliant nature of its similarly-equipped stablemates the transformation is remarkable.  Contemporary reviewers lauded the Continental R for bringing back decent handling to the Bentley brand. 

The car has been with one family since new and has a fully service history by Bentley dealers H R Owen – the supplying dealer – and Jack Barclay and more recently specialist The Chelsea Workshop.  There was a Schedule 2 service in June 2021 around 1,500 miles ago.  The factory service manual is included with the car and we understand that it will be sold with a fresh 12 months MOT.  It has covered barely 400 miles since the last test.

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When Bentley set its mind to rejuvenating the brand the task must have weighed heavily.  Here was one of Britain’s best-loved car makers which hadn’t built a distinct model of its own for over 25 years.  The way the Continental R looks and drives is testament to how well they met that demanding brief.  It is not a stretch to say that this car laid the building blocks for the firm’s current success.

This beautiful low mileage Continental R has clearly been cared for and is one of the desirable post-1994 cars with extra power.  It is highly capable, very comfortable and yet also rewarding to drive.  It had few competitors when new and even fewer now, making this a rare chance to buy a big, brutal and British full four seater coupe. 

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.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1994
  • Make Bentley
  • Model Continental
  • Colour Black
  • Odometer 39,599 Miles
  • Engine size 6750
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Town Cotswolds
  • Location Worcestershire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
35 bids
  • yasmine•••• £33,000 30/05/23
  • roger-s•••• £32,250 30/05/23
  • JBJNR £32,000 30/05/23
  • simon-n•••• £31,250 30/05/23
  • roger-s•••• £30,750 30/05/23
  • simon-n•••• £30,500 30/05/23
  • roger-s•••• £30,000 30/05/23
  • Shotter £27,250 30/05/23
  • JBJNR £27,000 30/05/23
  • Shotter £25,538 29/05/23

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