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B l a c k  K n i g h t - Bentley - Download the Certificate of Authenticity

A brief history of the Bentley Continental 

Development of the car began in 1951 and the Mulliner Coachworks worked closely with the Rolls Royce stylist, JP Blatchley in designing a lightweight, aerodynamic body for the new Continental. Production commenced in 1952 and they were for export only in the austere post-war times in Britain. The first 2 cars were delivered to Briggs Cunningham and Bill Spear, both members of the Bentley Drivers Club in the USA. The 208 examples finally produced when production ended in 1955 were among the most expensive and fastest production 4 – 5 seat cars of their time. Each was built to bespoke order, so there was a diversity of equipment on each individual car. 

From their specifications, it is evident that these cars epitomized the ideal of perfection. The Mulliner bodywork represented a combination of lightness and rigidity unheard of in 1952. Apart from the panel work, even the window frames and bumpers were made of light alloy and the seats were tubular framed. The steering wheel carried a ride control lever that enabled the setting of the rear dampers and there was a one-shot chassis lubrication button on the floor. An elaborate heating and ventilation system made provision for demisting of both front and rear screens; there were 2-speed wipers and a screen washer – very much the exception in 1952. The Continental’s high performance (Top speed 120 mph or 192 kph) was matched with servo-assisted brakes so that the performance could be enjoyed with complete confidence. That performance was allied to utter refinement enabling high-speed cruising in uncanny silence. More than 50 years after it was built, that first Bentley Continental still exemplifies The Autocar’s 1952 verdict: “The Bentley is a modern magic carpet which annihilates great distances and delivers the occupants well-nigh as fresh as when they started. It is a car Britain may well be proud of, and it is sure to add lustre to the name it bears.”  

These magnificent cars, still capable of fast cross-continent cruising approaching 100 mph (160kph) are cherished by their lucky and discerning owners today. A truly remarkable car by any standards. 

With acknowledgements to: 

The Car, Orbis Publishing Ltd, England

Care of Your ‘Painted' Art piece 

Your AutCouture Art piece is treated with automotive wax and all that is required is a dusting or wipe down with a damp cloth.  

Should it become dull, polish with again with an automotive wax. Scratches can be removed by light sanding with a fine (1,500 grit) water-paper, then polished with a Brass polish and finished off with auto wax.  

John Wessels.


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