1954 BENTLEY R-Type

View vehicle description

1954 BENTLEY R-Type


When the R-Type replaced the Mk VI in 1952 you might have struggled to see what had changed.

But if you walked right round it, you’d notice that the boot had doubled in size, not only boosting luggage capacity but giving the car a more balanced appearance.

Underneath, it still used a chassis that sensibly blended old and new features, including the Mk VI’s straight-six engine with valves arranged in inlet-over-exhaust format.

That engine had grown from 4.2 to 4.6-litres in 1951 and would later expand to 4.9-litres in the very special R-type Continental variant that now sells for over €1million.

Any R-Type saloon – especially in manual gearbox form – was a fast car for its day.

For their combination of performance, comfort, space, engineering heritage and prestige, they remain impressive and desirable vehicles.

In total, just 2,323 R-Types were built.

The Vehicle

This car is offered from outside of the European Union. It has been imported under temporary admission customs bond and is therefore subject to Dutch import tax on top of the winning bid price.

The winning bidder will receive a receipt for the final hammer value, as their proof of purchase.

This vehicle has been on static display for a number of years and the documented history available is limited to that displayed in our photography section.

We have not tried to start or drive the car, and cannot vouch for its mechanical viability or functionality. It will require recommissioning prior to road use and is sold ‘as seen’.

As CARS Europe BV is the guarantor of all customs duties and taxes for vehicles within Dutch customs bond, the car cannot be released to the buyer or transporter immediately after the sale. For all enquiries relating to Customs, please contact CARS Europe BV.

Purchases will only be released once cleared funds are received. All vehicles must be collected after the payment of funds. All storage charges must be paid in full prior to the vehicle’s collection or onward transportation.

Storage charges payment must be arranged with the storage company. Collection is strictly by appointment only.

Please send a booking email to the storage centre to ensure vehicle(s) are ready at time of collection. Photographic ID will be required at time of collection. If a third party is collecting for you, then written authorisation is required in advance from you and photographic ID of the third party is required at the time of collection. Collection either by buyer or third party is only possible for vehicles within customs bond if applicable import taxes paid are paid to import into country of bonded storage location.

As soon as The Market by Bonhams will receive your payment, The Market by Bonhams accounts service will inform the manager of the storage facility where your car(s) is stored: a release note will be sent to them.

CARS Europe BV will contact you just after the sale to confirm onward transport requirements. Direct contact at CARS for enquiries is as follows; Joanna Herlihy, +31 (0) 252 682 526, +44 7483 433912, joanna@carseurope.net.


€30 + local VAT per motor car per day commencing from the sixth day following the auction end.


€500 per motor car (plus applicable permanent import taxes from bond).

Chassis No: B150LWH

Odometer: 58,289 kms.

In common with many vehicles from the vendor’s collection, the car comes with no history or service records.

With the proviso that we haven’t tried to start or drive this car and can therefore only comment on its cosmetic condition, we think this LHD automatic 1954 Bentley R-Type is a lovely example of a very grand car from one of the world’s most prestigious automotive marques.

It’s not perfect and there are some issues to address both inside and out, but it appears to be completely authentic and original.

We know that it entered the vendor’s collection of static display cars in 2012.

And we know that prior to that it was living in the Netherlands.

But that’s all we know.

On the Outside

Presented in two-tone cream and black, the car’s paintwork is good in some parts, less so in others.

The bodywork is largely free of any indentations, bumps or creases, although there are cracks and damage to both rear wheel arches.

There is also some rust in evidence underneath the rear indicator on the driver’s side.

There are scratches and scuffs on the driver’s side wheel arch and wing at the front and some bubbling beneath the windscreen and along both sills.

The sunroof does not appear to be seated properly and there are numerous scratches on the roof.

The rubber trim around the rear window has cracked and perished.

The wheels seem to be good all round, as does the majority of the chrome, badging and lights.

The panel gaps and shut lines are consistent and even.

On the Inside

The interior looks to have survived reasonably well overall, although there are issues with the upholstery, woodwork and some fabrics and trim.

The two front seats, while apparently structurally sound, have significant rips in them.

The rear bench seats have fared rather better.

The back of the driver’s seat looks a bit scuffed and dirty but should clean up reasonably well.

Both picnic tables could do with a sympathetic polish.

The carpets have endured the years fairly commendably, but there is a threadbare patch in the driver’s footwell and it’s a little scruffy elsewhere.

The wood and veneers are quite good in most places but have rotted through to leave a hole in the section below the windscreen on the passenger’s side.

The headlining is stained and frayed in places, particularly on the sunroof section and where the parcel shelf meets the rear screen, where the fabric and surrounding trim appear to have suffered from some water damage.

The instrument cluster seems fine, as does the steering wheel and gear selector.

We can’t make any claims about the functionality of switches, knobs, levers, toggles, buttons, dials or other electrics as we haven’t tried to start the vehicle.

The boot is in decent condition and contains a spare tyre, tools and some spare parts.

Lifting up the mats here or elsewhere reveals a fair bit of rust dust but nothing that seems particularly alarming.


Everything looks fairly solid and honest but there is some rust dust and flaking in evidence, and it’s difficult to know what the structure looks like under its layer of protective wax/bitumen.

You’ll will want to see it for yourself and reach your own conclusion.

Everything in the engine bay is in its right and proper place and appears to be clean and dry.

History Highlights

The car doesn’t come with any history or service record.

Any paperwork we have is photographed and displayed in the photo gallery. The documents are photocopies. We do not have anything else.

What We Think

Apart from some cosmetic issues and a few necessary repairs, inside and out, this car seems reasonably good and fairly sound.

Provided that the engine and mechanicals prove to be in good working order, this car might prove to be a particularly good buy for someone wanting a car for weddings or other events…or just to enjoy for its sense of majesty, grandeur and occasion.

Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

Video Review

Want to know how The Market auctions work? Take a look at our FAQ's

View FAQ's


  • Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 58289 Km
  • Chassis Number: B150LWH
  • Engine: 4566
  • Gearbox: auto
  • Steering position: LHD
  • Colour: Beige and Black
  • Interior: Bright Blue Leather
  • Estimated Price: €10,000 - €15,000

Live auctions View more