1952 Bentley R Type Continental

VIN: 23867

(Not The Actual Vin Number)

Stock# 23867
1952 Bentley R Type Continental
Stock#: 23867
Ext. Color: Beige
Int. Color: Tan
Year: 1952
Vin#: 23867

1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback: The very First of Just 43 Examples Specified in Left-Hand Drive

This 1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback is the first of just 43 examples specified in left-hand drive. An early A-series chassis, of which only 26 were built, chassis BC8LA was completed by Bentley in May 1952, and then transported to H.J. Mulliner, where it was fitted with the iconic fastback coachwork. The body fitted to BC8LA, no. 5473, was finished in an attractive combination of Silver Blue and Blue with light blue, possibly UM 3086, Connolly leather upholstery. Factory records confirm that BC8LAs list of original equipment included "heavy" seats with elbow rests, a cubby compartment located under the instrument panel, with a later annotation that this was the first time it had been done, and private locks on both doors. The transmission is manual on the column. Outwardly, the Continental was equipped with steel bumpers, a plain radiator without a mascot, and wing mirrors.

As recorded in the definitive Continental register, this car was shipped to New York aboard the SS American Flyer in September 1952. That October, J.S. Inskip delivered the new Bentley to its first owner, Howard W. Kizer of Montclair, New Jersey and also at Texaco Oil Company, Chrysler Building, 135 East 42nd Street, New York City. The guarantee was issued on 3rd October 1952, at the time of delivery, according to a later letter. By the time he acquired BC8LA, Mr. Kizer was already a well-established Rolls-Royce and Bentley client, having commissioned several spectacular custom-bodied cars for his personal use. He is perhaps best known as the Texaco executive who, in the 1930s, designed the companys famous Doodlebug streamlined tanker trucks. Mr. Kizer owned BC8LA for about two years and then it was sold, via Inskip, to Dorothy King of Miami Beach, Florida. There is a letter in 1956 from Inskip to her husband, Curtis King, of Palm Springs, CA discussing tires and expressing concern about Mrs. King who was apparently very sick. She nonetheless kept the Bentley until 1964, when Laurel Hampel of Upper Lake Road, Thousand Oaks, California, acquired it. In January 1968, George Church Chilberg of Bonsall, California, noticed an advertisement for the Bentley in the Los Angeles Times and bought it for $2,900. The bill of sale provided for a $400 down payment and balance within six months.

An avid collector and vintage racer, George Chilberg maintained a fine collection of English sports cars, including an MG L-Type, Allard J2, Lagonda LG45 Rapide, and several Bentleys: a 3 Litre, 8 Litre, and a Derby. Of all the cars he owned, Mr. Chilbergs favorite was the R-Type Continental a model he regarded as the ultimate collectible Bentley. During his 50-plus years of ownership, Mr. Chilberg drove BC8LA tens of thousands of miles and took part in numerous Bentley Drivers Club events, having been a member of the BDC for the same period of 50 years. In the early 1990s, he carried out a comprehensive restoration that included rebuilding the engine, overhauling the mechanical systems, and refinishing the bodywork in the current tan over brown color scheme. The mechanical work may have been carried out by Jim Rickman in California as there is a reference to payments to him in excess of $12,700. Significantly, BC8LA still retains its matching-numbers 4.5-litre engine, no. BCA8, and original H.J. Mulliner body tag. It is accompanied by a selection of hand tools and ownership records, including the original 1968 Bill of Sale.

Among the earliest Continentals built, and the very first produced in left-hand drive, BC8LA represents an important landmark in the production of this iconic Bentley model. This Mulliner Fastback was built to order for an important American customer and cherished by one passionate caretaker for more than five decades. Whether its new owner decides to enjoy this elegant Continental in its current condition, as an ideal touring car, or restore it to its original splendor, they will be confident in knowing they have acquired a fine, historic example of the most desirable postwar Bentley.

Coachwork by H.J. Mulliner
Chassis no. BC8LA
Engine no. BCA8
  • The First of Only 43 Left-Hand-Drive R-Type Continentals Built
  • Sporting and Distinguished
  • Delivered New to Rolls-Royce and Bentley Connoisseur Howard W. Kizer
  • Originally Finished in Silver Blue with Light Blue Upholstery
  • Well-Documented Provenance with Single Family Ownership for Five Decades
  • Original Coachwork and retaining its Matching-Numbers Engine
  • Featured in the Authoritative Book Bentley Continental Sports Saloon Register
Price: $995,000 Firm

Be one of the first to get email notification when the vehicle you are looking for is added to our inventory.

Signing up for the Auto Locator Service gives you the inside track to our most up to date inventory and helps you find the vehicle you are looking for.

selling classic car? contact us.

We Buy Classic Cars in Any Condition

Fast & Easy Deals For Our Sellers.
Quick Payment & pick up.
35 Years of Experience in Classic Cars.
We Gladly Pay Finder's Fee.
Please Feel Free to Call Peter Kumar at
1-800-452-9910 To Sell your Classic Cars
My Garage Registration
Make the most of your shopping experience
by creating an account. You can:

Access your saved cars on any device.
Receive Price Alert emails when price changes,
new offers become available or a vehicle is sold.
My Garage Registration
My Garage Registration
Enter the email address you used when creating the account and click Send button. A message will be sent to that address containing a new password.