Bentley’s 1980s resurgence had hitherto relied exclusively on models whose basic architecture was shared with other Rolls-Royce products, but on display at Geneva in ‘85 was ‘Project 90’, a mocked-up coupé intended to gauge public response to the idea of a high-performance car unique to Bentley. When the real thing – the Bentley Continental R – was unveiled six years later, the waiting crowd burst into spontaneous applause. Styled with the assistance of consultants International Automotive Design, the Continental R benefited from computer-aided design and wind tunnel testing in the devising of its sleekly streamlined shape. Despite the need to incorporate non-traditional features such as doors recessed into the roof, the result looked every bit a Bentley, albeit one restated for the 1990s. Also new was the gearbox, a four-speed automatic with an ‘overdrive’ top ratio, but the main focus of interest was the newcomer’s performance. Needless to say, this was outstanding, the combination of the Turbo R engine in the new wind-cheating shape cutting the 0-60mph time to under 6 seconds and boosting top speed to in excess of 150mph.
One of the more exclusive limited-edition variants of this already exclusive model was the Continental SC, its name referencing the exotic Sedanca Coupé bodied Bentleys of the 1930s. Launched at the 1998 Paris Show, the Continental SC featured a Targa-style removable roof, the glass panels being stored in the boot. ‘The SC may be massive, but it obviously isn’t so massive that 400-odd horses can’t give it genuinely impressive punch. The eerie part though, is the absolute silence.’ Clearly, the SC’s designers had not lost sight of Bentley’s reputation as ‘The Silent Sports Car’.
Delivered new to the USA, this wonderful left-hand drive Continental SC has covered only 48,000 miles and comes with its books and history. Described as in generally good condition, with nothing negative to report, this rarest of modern Bentleys is offered with the aforementioned service history, and V5C registration document. Rarely are these cars offered on the open market.