20th Sep, 2023 12:00

30th Anniversary Sale at The Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

Lot 447

1953 Bentley R-Type Sports Special

Sold for £43,875

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: PNU 920
Chassis No: B25TO
MOT: Exempt

  • Created by a highly skilled and experienced engineer
  • Short chassis and front cross-member
  • Hand-formed aluminium bodywork with Derby Bentley bonnet and grille
  • Completed in 2021 and fitted with Bentley instrumentation

Post-WWII Bentley enthusiasts, wanted a more raw Bentley performance experience, that post war marques offered. With values of Vintage Bentleys pricing the Bentley experience beyond many motoring enthusiasts, if you wanted a more visceral Bentley ownership experience, that excitement could only be found with a ‘built-not-bought’ philosophy. With garages filled with sleeping ‘Standard Steel’ saloons often rotten and uneconomical to repair and restore, there was the saviour in the form of an unbeatable chassis, designed to be married to an enthusiasts vision, whatever it might have been, often more exciting, offering creative engineering, style and performance. 'Specials' created by privateers, based upon R-Type and MkVI chassis, in particular, have been joined by a cottage industry of coachbuilders throughout the decades, all offering that more visceral, yet elegant journey to the pre-war age of Bentley performance.

Offered here is such an elegantly crafted R-Type Special, built with a love for the days of the pre-war Bentley. An experienced and highly skilled engineer, the previous owner had a history when it came to ‘Special’ builds, having previously fashioned a 250 GT in Short Wheelbase (SWB) from a Ferrari 250 GTE. His love of the marque as an enthusiast of the build process first and foremost. With an eye for the minutiae detail of his builds, the specification includes a newly manufactured short chassis and front cross member; Dunlop racing tyres on new 19" wire wheels; and the bonnet and grille from a 3½-litre Derby Bentley. The build called on the craftmanship of many hours in the workshop, shaping the aluminium bodywork and wings by hand. Inside the cockpit a suitably pre-war-style environment utilising leather trim and original Bentley gauges and instruments, with two timing-clocks fitted.

With 4 years of work going into the project which was completed in 2021 ‘PNU 920’ has had little use since its completion and further checks and test runs are recommended to ensure that everything is bedded-in prior to being taken on the open roads.

For more information, please contact:
James McWilliam
07943 584760


Auction: 30th Anniversary Sale at The Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 20th Sep, 2023

Established in 1993, H&H has sold some of the world's most significant motorcars and motorcycles over the past 30 years. Now owned by its employees and trusted by over 75,000 clients worldwide, we are the longest established auction house of our kind in Europe.


Buyers, bidders and attendees will enjoy a special day in the prestigious Imperial War Museum with some fantastic treats including.
Drinks Reception   |   Music   |   Guest Speakers

With each successful bidder receiving a specially selected hamper.

Watch the website for more details.


To take part in the bidding action please click 'Register to Bid | Sign In' at the top of the page



Tuesday 19th September 2023 from 1pm to 8pm
Wednesday 20th September 2023 from 9am


View all lots in this sale

All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

You can collect your new pride and joy from our venue until 1pm the day following the sale or our partners are on hand to help arrange safe transportation:


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If you prefer to speak to humans, don't hesitate to call our office on +44 (0)1925 210035

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