1953 Bentley R-Type

For Sale £45,000
  • Three owners from new
  • Standard Steel coachwork with an automatic gearbox
  • An extremely pleasant car to drive and a proven endurance rally car
  • Extensive service and maintenance history carried out by carried P & A Wood and ourselves

RTU 969 has lived an incredible life in recent decades with its current owner. It has travelled the globe visiting no less than 26 countries in six continents, faultlessly participating in over five endurance road rallies covering almost 50,000 miles in near standard form.

This R-Type had an equally interesting beginning being bought new by the Rt. Hon Lord Foley, 8th Baron Foley of Kidderminster who followed a long line of Lords, British army officers, and politicians. The title dates back some 300 years with their family seat at Witley Court Worcestershire, built for the Foleys in the seventeenth century. 8th Baron Adrian Foley made a name for himself in the 1940s as a composer of popular songs and as a gifted pianist. For a time, he was described as “Britain’s answer to Liberace”.

Lord Foley purchased RTU 969 from Jack Barclay of London, with his ownership spanning fourteen years, and registered throughout at 36 Hocroft Road, Hampstead, Northwest London. As well as specifying the colour and transmission, other notes from the build cards give an interesting insight into the car’s personalised specification. Inside, the driver’s seat was to be lowered, a spare wheel cover fitted in the boot, and two badges attached to the dashboard. The first badge, a St. Christopher, was fixed to the glove box. The second badge, a name plate, was specified to be fixed below the switch box, but was actually fitted above. Amazingly, these original fixing holes can still be seen on the dashboard.

On the outside, Foley asked for front fog lamps, mirrors on both front wings, and his House of Lords Motor Club badge to be fitted above the windscreen. His family crest was to be “emblazoned” in the centre of both rear doors, and an illuminated G.B. plate mounted over the rear number plate. The G.B. badge, mirrors, fog lamps and original colour are retained on the car to this day.

RTU 969 passed onto its second owner in February 1967 to Mr. J.B. Joseph of Stroud and then Caversham. The family enjoyed 34 years of motoring in the Bentley before the current owner purchased the car in 2001 with the intention of touring. Over the next 21 years the current owners embarked on many adventures and rallies, where they experienced driving over the Andes in South America, through sandstorms in the Gobi Desert, on the salt lakes in Bolivia, through the snowy French Alps and across the Outback of Australia to name just a few. The first rally the car participated in was the Classic Safari in 2003, travelling through six African nations from Cape Town to Kenya passing Mount Kilimanjaro and covering 4,500 miles. The Peking to Paris rally was the longest rally the car took part in, covering around 8,000 miles, with the owner commenting in the months after, “My diary ended up perhaps being a bit boring, the R-Type performed so well, where most others had serious breakdowns, it just proves the quality of the Crewe Bentley.”

This Bentley is one of a kind, laying claim to having driven over some of the most challenging roads in the world. In order to participate in these such events RTU 969 has been meticulously maintained by P & A Wood, Mr. A. Archer and ourselves with regular servicing, maintenance and event preparation. The car also comes with a history file spanning three folders with detailed invoices, articles and event diaries.

Contact us for more information

Jonathan Wood
Tel: 01799 586888 | Email: info@jonathan-wood.co.uk

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