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Homepage. This page: Two photographs of a classic post-war Bentley motor-car in a garage during the 1960s.

Bentley motor-car.

The R-Type Bentley was introduced in 1952, based on - and replacing - the very similar MkVI Bentley range. Visually, from the front at least, there was little to differentiate a MkVI from the R-Type. The major difference was around the back, as the new car now featured a larger bootlid "hump". The car shown here features standard in-house coachwork, although anyone wishing for something more exclusive could order a chassis from Bentley Motors and specify coachwork from firms such as Radford, or Freestone and Webb. Initially I thought this was an R-Type, but I'm advised (see notes further down) that it is in fact a MkVI.
The R-Type was built from 1952 to 1955, after which the new S1 took over the reins.
The car in these photographs is registered 533 WAR, a series that made its debut late in 1955. Presumably this car was first registered in 1956 (see update further down the page), after having sat around unregistered - or possibly abroad - for a few months. Both photos show the car parked in a garage / dealership, and not a particularly smart or tidy one at that. The Bentley though looks immaculate. In the background, a number of children's cycles are on display, as is a moped and a motorcycle. Signs on the wall advertise Lambretta scooters, Triumph motorcycles, and the "NEW HONDA NINETY PLUS" available for 125-16-5. The Bentley's tax disc is partially obscured by the windscreen wiper, and for some reason its roof-mounted radio aerial is pointing to the nearside, rather than rearwards.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Front view of the R-Type Bentley
The second photograph of 533 WAR is a side view, with a chap sat behind the wheel of the Bentley, writing or reading some notes. Advertising posters for the Honda CD125 and 175 can just be made out in the background. The CD175 was introduced in 1967, giving a clue as to the age of this photograph. Just visible on the RHS is the back end of a very different motor-car, a three-wheeled Reliant Regal 3/25, a fibreglass vehicle first unleashed on the public in 1962.
Classic R-Type Bentley car
Does anyone know what became of this Bentley? It doesn't show on a search of the DVLA site. Perhaps it has been scrapped, or broken for parts? Maybe it was exported and lives in a foreign land? Or maybe it was chopped up and converted into a post-war Bentley special of dubious appeal, a fate of many MkVI/R-Type Bentleys once their factory coachwork had corroded beyond salvation. Maybe, just maybe, someone recognises the chap in the photo, or the premises in which the R-Type was parked?
Update. John dropped me a line shortly after this page went live. An owner of an R-Type Bentley himself, he had the following information to add:
There are a few points to make about it, 533 WAR is not a 1955 series, that would have been WAR 533, but dates from 1964, so I would assume therefore that the car has been originally issued with a desirable number of some kind, and then re-registered either for the first owner to keep his cherished number, or for a trader to screw an extra few quid from a deal. The radio aerial on these cars is operated by a largish bakelite knob on the inside of the windscreen above the driving mirror, and is frequently turned to the horizontal position for going into the garage or through a low door. You don't get damage going forwards, as the aerial springs down, but when you try to reverse out the consequences can be dire. There were many detail changes between the last Mark VI and the first R-type, although as you say, not very visible from the front.
Thanks John!
Update No.2. This, sent over by Robert:
533WAR registered Bentley (R) Since this car quite obviously has the additional rear wing plating on, it is a Bentley Mark VI Standard Saloon. The position of the centre lamp, and the chrome waist moulding help to point in the direction of later than 1949/1950, but although the wheel discs shown were more common on earlier models, the vent flap at the side of the scuttle defines it as a 4 1/2 litre 'Big Bore' (rather than the 4 1/4 'Small Bore'), of 1951/2. Please not that the'Bore'only refers to the engine size rather than the car: they are quite entertaining to drive!Unfortunately the registration number is not listed in Bernard King's book on the Bentley Mark VI, so I can't give you a chassis number nor its present whereabouts.
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R-Type parts.

Classified ads for R-Type Bentley parts can be found on this page of the site, with a list of all the pages for vintage and classic Bentleys to be found here.

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