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Little Classics News: 23 April 2015

Rare Classic Bentley Sees Barons Set New Heights

1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback

Bids were flying around Barons’ Sandown Park saleroom on April 21st, when an extremely rare 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback ‘barn find’ restoration project went under the hammer. With an estimate of £200,000-£400,000, the car attracted frenzied bidding before it was finally secured by its new owner for £739,212. This was the highest price Barons has ever achieved for a car. With other strong sales on the day, it brought the auction total to over £1 million, another company record for Barons.

1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback

It was not an easy bidding battle to win, with bids coming in from around the world. Barons’ staff were taking bids from 10 potential buyers over the telephone, 20 on the internet and a further 15 in the saleroom itself, as the bids began climbing in increments of £50,000 then tapering to increments of £25,000 before reaching the final, remarkable figure.

In the end the car went to a British owner, who will be adding this magnificent machine to his private collection. When restored his new acquisition – which has not been driven in 15 years - could be worth over £1,000,000.

1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback engine

Chassis BC52C was commissioned in 1954 by the Welsh racing driver R D Weatherall and was originally painted in his racing colour, Royal Purple. It still bears the registration number RDW 536. A subsequent owner, a doctor from Yorkshire, had the car re-sprayed in white, the colour it retains to this day.

Barons’ director Tony Cavell said, “This was an absolutely fantastic result. A ‘lost’ car always attracts collectors’ attention, and when it’s such a rare, iconic and valuable machine, that interest can lead to a frenetic bidding battle such as we saw yesterday. It will be fascinating to see the ‘journey’ the Bentley now takes, as its restoration commences.”

1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback interior

“This was the first sale that my fellow director Peter Gascoigne and I have fully assembled and presided over since we took the reins at Barons earlier in the year. We couldn’t have been more delighted with how things turned out, from the atmosphere in the saleroom to the final result. To top £1 million for the first time for Barons is a tremendous achievement, and it has been a privilege to play a role in finding a new home for a truly remarkable car.”


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