Name: 1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback
Year(s) Produced: 1952-1955
Number Built: 207
Class: Luxury Car
Body Type: Standard 4-door saloon
Engine: I6 4566 cc | 278.6 cu in. | 4.6 L.
Power: 150bhp @ 4500 RPM
Top Speed: 101 mph
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Length/width/height: 200 in./ 69 in./ 64.5 in.
Wheelbase: 120 in.
Base Price: US$10,730
Current Value: US$1,495,000 (RM Sotheby)
Ian Fleming, the man who breathe life to the character of James Bond, is no stranger to sleek, classic sports car. This is especially true in his choice of a gray colored 1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback.
During that time, this R-Type Continental has been Bentley’s top of the line sports car, dubbed as the ‘fastest production four seater in the world’. Fleming eventually gave this beauty to his American friend, Ivan Felix Bryce but not without customizing it to have a ‘modern’ look. He added rear spats, lightweight seats, fitted luggage and a racehorse mascot to complete the aesthetic. This revamped Bentley was even mentioned in Fleming’s 1961 novel “Thunderball” wherein Bond drove and restored the car with the exact specifications of that of the real one. However in the 1965 movie adaptation of Thunderball starring Sean Connery as James Bond, the Bentley was replaced by an Aston Martin – not quite the Bond car that Fleming hoped out to be.
Eventually, Bryce took the Bentley to places around the world and then selling it afterwards. Since then, it was sold and resold until it was purchased by a surgeon in Beverly Hills in 1978 being the last registered owner of this classic beauty. Fleming’s Bentley was never heard of since then until classic motor dealer Gullwing Motors recently discovered it in a Los Angeles garage near Hancock Park. Gullwing inspected the vehicle and has concluded that it is “an ideal restoration candidate” faithfully retaining its original features, interiors, and even matching serial numbers.
If you wish to grab hold of this most authentic Bond car, you need to shell out $1,495,000 as it is currently on sale. Scroll down to take a look at how this Bentley looks like when it was found.