1997 Bentley Continental R

Highlights


  • 325 horsepower, 6.75-litre V8
  • Bentley Motors’ UK Press Car
  • Only covered 55,243 miles from new
 

The Appeal


With 155 mph performance and with bodywork coachbuilt by H.J. Mulliner Park Ward, the Continental R offered the ultimate compromise between performance and opulence.

Originally costing almost £200,000, few were fortunate enough to experience the Continental in period. 27 years on however, the opportunity to drive this executive coupé has arisen once more, as we have here offered for sale, the 1995 UK press car presented in beautiful original condition. 


The History and Paperwork


  • Bentley’s 1995 UK press car
  • 14 stamps in the service book from P&A Woods and Michael Powles Ltd
  • Service history with renowned specialist The Chelsea Workshop since 2018
  • 55,243 miles from new
  • MOT valid until December 2022
  • 6 owners from new
  • Original owner’s manuals


The Interior


  • Magnolia hide
  • Burr walnut
  • Wildberry lambswool over-rugs
 
Few interiors are as lavishly appointed as those of a Bentley from this period and this Continental R is no exception. With stunning Magnolia hide seats and swathes of glorious burr walnut, this opulent interior has an almost palatial quality. The Wildberry exterior colour is echoed atop the dashboard, lower door trims, carpeting and centre console. 

Having covered so few miles, the condition of the interior appears to be very fine indeed, with very little wear we could see. As you would expect, there are a few small blemishes on the driver’s seat bolsters, but nothing untoward. The vendor informs us that the remaining seats are in excellent order and it is clear to see that all the leatherwork, including the exquisitely crafted headlining are in wonderful condition, especially when you consider that this car is 27 years old.

We could see no signs of damage to the walnut veneers and the condition of the lambswool over-matting shows little indication of foot traffic. We are also informed that everything inside this Bentley’s sumptuous cabin functions exactly as it did in 1995.

The Exterior 


  • Wildberry paint scheme
  • Excellent wheels and tyres
  • Condition belies its age
  • Shortened Front and Back Bumpers
 
We have been informed that a previous owner has slightly shortened the front and tail bumper so that it would fit in his garage. However, short of this subtle modification there is little to report regarding the exterior condition of this Bentley as it is in such fine order. Mulliner’s two-door coupé bodywork somehow hides the fact that this is a very large motorcar. It has a striking presence in its extravagant coat of Wildberry paint which the vendor informs us is in very good condition.
 
From what we could see, the underside of this Bentley is also very smart and there were no indications of corrosion we could detect. It sits on very smart alloys which are shod with Avon Turbospeed tyres, which the vendor reports to have plenty of tread remaining.
 

The Mechanics 


  • Self-levelling hydraulic suspension
  • 6.75-litre V8 engine
  • Traction control with viscous differential
  • 4-speed electronically controlled automatic gearbox


In spite of its incredible size and the sheer quantity of walnut and leather, the Continental R impressed the automotive press at the time with its impressive performance. With 385 horsepower and 750 Nm of torque, this Bentley could achieve 0-60 mph in 6 seconds and would go on to a limited maximum speed of 155mph.

This vendor reports that this example drives exceedingly well, controlling its mass admirably even at high speeds. It accelerates eagerly, brakes strongly and corners readily - without ever compromising the passenger comfort. 



Summary


As one of the most dynamically impressive luxury motorcars ever made, the Bentley Continental R is without doubt a triumph of British engineering.  
 
This beautifully kept example would make a wonderful addition to any collection and is made particularly interesting by its origins as one of Bentley’s press fleet.
 
Travelling in this Continental is as serene at 100 mph as it is at 30, making it amongst the most wonderful ways to cross continents. It’s no wonder that Bentley themselves hailed it the ‘grand tourer par excellence’.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1995
  • Make Bentley
  • Model Continental R
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 55,243 Miles
  • Engine size 6750
  • Town Petersfield
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Location Hampshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
40 bids
  • robh205•••• £41,250 19/08/22
  • Celina1•••• £41,000 19/08/22
  • citylov•••• £40,750 19/08/22
  • robh205•••• £40,500 19/08/22
  • citylov•••• £40,000 19/08/22
  • [email protected]•••• £39,750 19/08/22
  • michael•••• £39,500 19/08/22
  • Celina1•••• £39,250 19/08/22
  • michael•••• £39,000 19/08/22
  • Celina1•••• £38,500 19/08/22

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