The incomparable Bentley Continental sports saloon has been synonymous with effortless high speed cruising in the grand manner since its introduction on the R-Type chassis in 1952. This magnificent tradition seemed to have ended with the demise in 1965 of the successor S-Type Continental, only to re-emerge triumphantly in 1984 with the introduction of the T-Series Continental. Flagship of the range, the new Continental was a worthy scion of this noble British family, impeccably engineered and hand-built in the time-honoured manner by Mulliner Park Ward Limited’s peerless craftsmen. Like its illustrious forebears, the modern Continental represented the ultimate in bespoke coachbuilt motoring, designed to appeal to those discerning – and necessarily very wealthy – clients with the most refined of tastes, a well developed appreciation for the finer things of life and a refusal to accept anything less than the very best. Far from being an outmoded concept, this uncompromising approach was so successful, and demand for the exclusive Continental so sustained, that it remained in production well into the 1990s, the last (Convertible) examples being delivered in 1995, by which time the UK price had risen to well in excess of £100,000.
The essence of Continental ownership was most aptly summed up by Autosport’s inimitable John Bolster. Writing in 1958, Bolster noted that the Continental was a classical design that achieved a high degree of excellence by sheer quality of construction: ‘In doing so, it develops an individuality, a character, call it what you will, that makes it entirely different from any other marque. The man who drives a Continental lives in an enchanted world, for everybody calls him ‘sir’ and he may park where other lesser cars may never tread.’ Despite the passage of more than 50 years, Bolster’s words ring every bit as true today as they did then.
The current vendor purchased this Continental Convertible for its condition, and driving quality and it has served its purpose being used for a long four week trip into Europe where it performed faultlessly. Recently serviced and with recent work to the brakes, the car notably benefited from a new hood some 18 months ago. Being offered for sale reluctantly, this beautiful Bentley Continental’s history file includes sundry bills, current MoT certificate and a V5C registration document.