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Barn find Bentley sells for £739,000

Published 23 April 2015

Bids were flying at Barons’ Sandown Park saleroom Tuesday when a rare 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback ‘barn find’ restoration project went under the hammer.

With an estimate of £200,000-£400,000, the car attracted frenzied bidding before it was finally secured by its new owner for £739,212. This was the highest price Barons has ever achieved for a car – and other strong sales on the day brought the auction total to over £1 million.

With bids for the Bentley coming in from around the world, Barons’ staff were taking bids from ten potential buyers over the telephone, 20 on the internet and a further 15 in the saleroom itself, as the bids began climbing in increments of £50,000 then tapering to increments of £25,000 before reaching the final figure.

Bentley R C6 (1)

In the end the car went to a British owner, who will be adding this magnificent machine to his private collection. When restored his new acquisition – which has not been driven in 15 years - could be worth more than £1m.  

Chassis BC52C was commissioned in 1954 by the Welsh racing driver R D Weatherall and was originally painted in his racing colour, Royal Purple. It still bears the registration number RDW 536. A subsequent owner, a doctor from Yorkshire, had the car re-sprayed in white, the colour it retains to this day.

Barons’ director Tony Cavell said, ‘This was an absolutely fantastic result. A “lost” car always attracts collectors’ attention, and when it’s such a rare, iconic and valuable machine, that interest can lead to a frenetic bidding battle such as we saw yesterday. It will be fascinating to see the journey the Bentley now takes, as its restoration commences.’

Bentley R C 17a


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