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2000 Bentley Continental R

  • Desirable late-model 2000 Bentley Continental R
  •  Peacock Blue Metallic with Magnolia hide
  • Three owners from new
  • Over 200k GBP when new
  • Extensive history file
  • All tools, books & keys present

MODEL HISTORY

Bentley has a long history of producing sublime grand tourers and the Continental R continued that tradition when it was introduced at the 1991 Geneva Motor Show. With its blend of style, luxury and performance, the new car perfectly evoked its namesake from the early 1950s – the fabled R-type Continental – and was the most expensive production car in the world when it was launched.

This was the first Bentley since the 1960s not to share a body with a contemporary Rolls-Royce and it emphasised the drive to reinvigorate the marque as a standalone performance brand. Its genesis lay in the 1985 Project 90 concept car as well as a mooted replacement for the Rolls-Royce Corniche, and it was based upon the SZ platform that had been introduced in 1980 and used for a variety of Rolls-Royce and Bentley models.

The exterior styling was the work of John Heffernan, Ken Greenley and Graham Hull, and they managed to make the Bentley imposing yet restrained and impressively subtle. Inside, occupants were cosseted in leather and walnut, and in many ways the Continental R was the last of the ‘traditional’ Bentleys. The Continental GT that replaced it was the first car to be launched under Volkswagen’s ownership and was built in far greater numbers.

The 6.75-litre turbocharged V8 – as used in the Turbo R saloon – drove through a four-speed GM automatic transmission that had been refined by Rolls-Royce; the gear selector was positioned in the centre console rather than the traditional site on the steering column. Self-levelling hydraulic suspension was employed, and on the road the commanding driving position and impressively taut dynamics combined to produce a driving experience that was at odds with the car’s dimensions.

Universally lauded by the motoring press when it was introduced, the Continental R was clearly a cut above its GT rivals during the 1990s. A total of 1236 were built, and it also provided the basis for limited-edition variants such as the Continental S, Continental R California and Continental R Mulliner, as well as the short-wheelbase Continental T and the Sedanca Coupé.

THIS MOTOR CAR

Sold new in June 2000 by the prestigious HR Owen dealership, the Bentley Continental R now being offered by The Classic Motor Hub benefits from the many developments and modifications that were carried out during the model’s production run. In 1996, engine power was increased to 385bhp, which resulted in a 0-60mph time of less than six seconds and a top speed of 155mph. Even more impressive was the immense torque on offer – 550 lb ft was available from as little as 2000rpm – and there was improved throttle response and fuel efficiency from the Zytek EMS3 engine management system.

Two years later, the Electronic Traction Assistance System became standard fitment and the front seats from the convertible Azure were adopted. External detail changes included mesh vents below the headlamps, a laser-cut mesh radiator grille, revised 17in alloy wheels, and updated bumpers front and rear. These later models are now considered to be the most desirable Continental R examples.

Finished in Peacock Blue with Magnolia hide, this car was specified with optional extras including the shaded Sundym windscreen, Pirelli 255/50 R18 102Y tyres and drilled pedals. Fastidiously maintained by each of its three owners, it has averaged 5,500 miles per year and has had the all-important head-gasket replacement and hydraulic service. It also comes with its original Bentley book pack, factory build sheets and both sets of keys.

Almost 30 years after its launch, the Continental R is becoming increasingly sought after thanks to its hand-built opulence and effortless pace, and values for the best cars are starting to rise – little wonder considering that no other Grand Tourer from this era can match its presence and aura.

Available for immediate sale and inspection at The Classic Motor Hub with up to 2 Years warranty.

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