BENTLEY R TYPE REVIEW

Looking for a classy Bentley oozing panache? Here we have the Bentley R-Type...

Rolls-Royce commenced production post-war with the Silver Wraith and Bentley MkVI models. For the first time there was standard coachwork, though the standard steel body - produced by the Pressed Steel Company, of Oxford - was available at first only on the Bentley, the equivalent Rolls-Royce - the Silver Dawn - not appearing until 1949. The range featured independent front suspension, hydraulic front brakes and a new 4,257cc, six-cylinder, F-head (inlet-over-exhaust) power unit, the latter destined for enlargement to 4,566cc in 1951. A much-needed improvement to the standard bodywork arrived in mid-1952 in the shape of an enlarged boot together with associated changes to the rear wings and suspension, subsequent models being known as the R-Type Bentley and E-Series Silver Dawn. The two newcomers were the first Rolls-Royce products available with automatic transmission, the company having opted for General Motors Hydra-Matic, a state-of-the-art four-speed unit that permitted manual selection. The standard R-Type was a lively performer, achieving 106mph in silence and reaching 50mph from standstill in 10 seconds despite a kerb weight approaching two tons. 2,322 R-Types had been produced by the time the model was superseded by the S-Type in 1955.

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