Vic and Chris Clark's R Type Continental

BENTLEY CONTINENTAL Chassis BC6A

 

Brief History

The chassis was delivered to Rolls-Royce Lillie Hall on 4th. April 1952 from where it was transferred to H.J.Mulliner. It was selected for display at the Paris Salon and accordingly was shipped across the Channel on the 24th. September aboard the S.S. Maidstone from Folkestone to Boulogne. Of course no drive-on ferries then, it was a crane job. Its first owner was Henri Lafond of Paris and registered as 4855 BN 75.

In December 1964 it was purchased through Franco-Britannic Autos Ltd. by G.P.Burnham and returned to England in the air ferry from Le Touquet to Lydd 17th December 1964. At this point it received its first UK registration from the Kent County Council series, BKK801B. I purchased the car in 1983.

A Few Anecdotes

Driving home following it’s respray I well remember the feeling of ‘keep away, don’t come so close’, a feeling I had never encountered even when taking delivery of a new , albeit lesser, car.

The car still has its original speedometer which records in kilometres. We were giving a friend a lift –following a decent lunch I may say- and he, in relaxed mode, had a short nap. We were traveling on a good quality B road; upon awakening, noticing the speedometer, he remarked “My, how quiet she goes at 100mph”. I did not spoil the moment for him!

Just forty-nine years after the event I tracked down some photographs of it on the stand at the Paris Salon. I certainly drove her home with an ear to ear grin that day! With over twenty years custodianship behind us we have had immense pleasure traveling with the car at home and abroad. Recent visits to the Continent have sometimes taken us on Le Shuttle, so BC6A has sailed on, flown over and been conveyed under the waves.

Of the many virtues of the Continental one that I consider to be overlooked by many is the fact that it costs no more to maintain than a standard steel bodied Mk VI or R type – now there’s food for thought!

Vic and chris clark