Bentley R Type
|Production||1952–1955 2323 built|
|Engine||4.6 L straight-6 130HP(estimate)|
|Wheelbase||120 in (3,048 mm)|
|Length||200 in (5,080 mm)|
|Width||69 in (1,753 mm)|
|Height||64.5 in (1,638 mm)|
Other than the radiator grilles and the carburation there was little difference between the standard Bentley R Type and the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn. The R Type was the more popular marque, with some 2,500 units manufactured during its run to the Silver Dawn's 760.
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.
All R Type models use an iron-block/aluminium-head straight-6 engine fed by twin SU Type H6 carburettors. The basic engine displaced 4.6 L (4566 cc/278 in³) with a 92.08 mm (3.6 in) bore and 114.3 mm (4.5 in) stroke. A 4-speed manual transmission was standard with a 4-speed automatic option becoming standard on later cars.
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. The test car cost £4481 including taxes
The early R Type Continental has essentially the same engine as the standard R Type, but with modified carburation, induction and exhaust manifolds along with higher gear ratios. After July 1954 the car was fitted with an engine, having now a larger bore of 94.62 mm (3.7 in) with a total displacement of 4.9 L (4887 cc/298 in³). The compression ratio was raised to 7.25:1.
- R Type: 2323 (295 with coachbuilt bodies)
- R Type Continental: 207 (plus one prototype)