1950 - 1959

By 1952 the popular Bentley Mark VI was in need of a facelift.

Whether by luck or brilliant judgement, the decisions that led to its final modifications, its styling and its designation pointed to the extraordinary renaissance of the brand some fifty years later, though no-one involved could possibly have guessed it at the time.

The new R-Type closely resembled its forebear, the Mark VI, but was technically improved. However, from it came the R-Type Continental. This iconic aluminium-bodied coupé, with higher gearing and lightweight, streamlined coachwork by H.J. Mulliner, its ability to run up to 100mph in third gear, with a top speed of just under 120mph, made it the fastest four-seater car in the world. Very quickly it earned a reputation as the ultimate in high-speed luxury.

Despite the success of the R-Type’s undeniable originality, the rationalisation of new Bentley and Rolls-Royce models continued with inexorable efficiency. By 1955 they were sharing identical technology, with the Bentley S Series differing from the Silver Cloud only in external styling.

For ten long years, only the Continental variant with its coach-built two and four door versions broke with the styling of the Rolls-Royce range.