With sales of their MK VI saloon failing to set the heather on fire, due to the car’ s outmoded bulky bodywork, in 1952 Bentley released their first semi-modern design for the Fifties, the R-Type.
The Bentley R Type came with a chassis that was longer than its predecessor with the bodywork more evenly proportioned. The principal features of the car were its raked rear end, sweeping wheel guards and streamlined front wings.
Designed around a long-tail version of the Mk VI shell, the R-Type offered considerably enhanced more boot space, a feature which had been sadly lacking with his predecessor.
On the downside, the Bentley R Type still boasted some ample curves that made access to the back seats difficult, however, while the car's small centre section meant rear passenger accommodation was cramped for such a large vehicle.
Power for the Bentley R Type came from Rolls-Royce's acclaimed 4.5-litre (279 Cu in) six-cylinder engine, with inlet-over exhaust valves.
This combination gave excellent performance and refined operation, which, when coupled with Bentley's typically first-class interior insulation, made the latest addition to the stable a comfortably quiet cruiser.
As far as mechanics were concerned the R-Type came with the option of fitting Rolls-Royce/GM Hydramatic automatic transmission, that featured featuring fluid coupling (in place of a torque converter) providing four forward gear ratios.
With no more than development changes — a higher compression-ratio engine from April 1953, and a fully-welded chassis frame from late 1953, for instance — the R-Type continued, visually unaltered, until the spring of 1955, when the S-Series saloon replaced it.