24th Apr, 2024 13:00

Pavilion Gardens | Buxton, Derbyshire

Lot 93

1954 Bentley R-Type Park Ward Drophead Coupe
1 of just 9 R-Type chassis clothed to Design 552

Sold for £37,125

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: FCH 880
Chassis No: B24WH
MOT: Exempt

  • Supplied new to Winston F. Martin Esq. of Healthguard Knitwear and reputedly later owned by the business tycoon Peter de Savary
  • Part of a private collection in recent years and employed for the occasional film and TV role including the Four Seasons mini-series (2008)
  • Running and driving but in need of further mechanical recommissioning and a repaint
  • Worthy of a return to its former glory

An obvious evolution of its MKVI predecessor, the Bentley R-Type was introduced at the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show. Switching from riveted to welded frame construction at chassis B349TO, the newcomer featured independent coil-and-wishbone front suspension, a leaf-sprung 'live' rear axle and servo-assisted four-wheel drum brakes (hydraulic front / rod rear). Powered by a 'big bore' 4566cc straight-six inlet-over-exhaust engine allied to either four-speed manual or automatic transmission, the R-type was a surprisingly strong performer, able to reach more than 100mph. Praised by the contemporary motoring press for its high-speed handling and well-appointed interior, the model remained in production until 1955 by which time some 2,320 are thought to have been made (though, only 303 of those bore coachbuilt bodies).

A decidedly rare motorcar, ‘FCH 880’ is understood to be one of just nine Bentley R-Type chassis to be clothed by Park Ward to its Design Number 552. A handsome four-seater Drophead Coupe with a power roof, well-resolved bustle boot and flowing wings, it was singularly expensive (especially when compared to a contemporary Aston Martin or Jaguar). Supplied new to Winston F. Martin Esq of the Healthguard Knitwear Company, the Bentley is thought to have spent time overseas before being re-registered with the DVLA during 1991. Further believed to have belonged to the noted collector and business tycoon Peter de Savary Esq, the R-Type entered the current family ownership some twenty-four years ago. Self-evidently the subject of much past restoration work, the Drophead Coupe helped earn its keep by appearing in the 2005 film ‘The Wedding Date’ and the 2008 TV mini-series ‘Four Seasons’. Showing just under 71,000 unwarranted miles to its odometer, ‘FCH 880’ appears to have covered less than 200 of those since last passing a MOT test. Laid-up in recent years, the Bentley has recently been recommissioned via the installation of a replacement starter motor. Although running and driving, it will doubtless require further mechanical work and servicing etc. Cosmetically, the Grey leather upholstery, wood veneers and soft-top are all in good order (albeit the power mechanism for the latter is not currently functioning). However, the plating has worn thin to the top of the radiator grille and the paintwork is heavily microblistered. A wonderful opportunity to acquire a scarce and very elegant coachbuilt R-Type for less than the price of a Special!


Auction: Pavilion Gardens | Buxton, Derbyshire, 24th Apr, 2024

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars to be held in the beautiful surrounds of the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire.Venue Details

Bid Live at the venue or online with H&H by clicking the 'Register to Bid | Sign In' button at the top of the page or by visitnig our partner, The Saleroom. For more information, please visit our How to Bid page. Please note, bidding online attracts an additional fee of 1% + VAT

To enquire about entering your classic or performance car into the auction please call our sales office on 01925 210035, email sales@HandH.co.uk or click here: Enter Your Classic Motorcar 

All our professional valuations are complimentary and without obligation.



Tues 23rd April from 12pm
Wed 24th April from 9am

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

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