Amelia Island

10-11 March 2017

A Gentleman's Collection: The Pride & Passion of Orin Smith

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Lot 153

2002 Bentley Continental R Mulliner 'Wide Body'

  • Chassis no. SCBZB25E62CX01793
  • Serial no. CX01793

Sold for $165,000


420 bhp, 6,750 cc OHV V-8 engine with Bosch K Motronic fuel injection and Garrett turbocharger with electronic transient boost control, four-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel independent double wishbone suspension with automatic ride control, and ventilated front and plain rear power disc brakes. Wheelbase: 120.5 in.

  • Among the fastest, most powerful four-passenger cars of its era
  • Very rare; one of fewer than 158 built
  • Excellent original condition with flawless cosmetics; 12,450 actual miles
  • Offered with Bentley Motors build and delivery information


By the mid-1980s, Bentley Motors was finding itself – or, rather, looking back to its past, when the company produced not “badge-engineered” versions of Rolls-Royces, but unique performance automobiles all its own. Specifically in the company’s thoughts was the R-Type Continental, the swift coachbuilt grand tourer, referred to in the 1950s as “the modern magic carpet” and beloved by celebrities and enthusiasts worldwide. The R-Type Continental formed the inspiration for years of research that resulted in the introduction of the Bentley Continental R in March 1991. A large, hand-built coupe, the new Continental R was one of the fastest four-passenger cars in the world—and among the most expensive. It rapidly became the gold standard for a new generation of socialites craving luxury and speed.

Several variations of the new Continental would be produced during the car’s 12-year run, in various configurations and potencies. Among them was the Continental R Mulliner, introduced in 1999, which combined the standard “Wide Body” R body shell with the 420-horsepower, turbocharged engine of the short-wheelbase Continental T. Introduced to answer requests for a car with “T” power but additional passenger legroom, the Continental R Mulliner was further distinguished by its flared wheel arches, aerodynamic door sills, sports bumpers, a single large-diameter tailpipe, steering 20 percent quicker than standard, and special badging. Depending upon the source, between 131 and 158 examples were produced over four years.

The car offered here was originally delivered through Bentley Downers Grove in suburban Chicago, finished in Black over Cotswold with black carpets and matching mouton overlays, as well as chrome instrument bezels, drilled aluminum pedals, and chrome wheels. Driven only 7,725 miles prior to its addition to the Smith Collection, it has recorded a total of 12,450 miles at the time of cataloguing, what Bentley expert Diane Brandon noted as “scarcely run in.” Condition throughout is excellent, with the interior displaying only the most minor signs of use, and the exterior being cosmetically flawless and virtually as-new. In addition to its Bentley Motors build and delivery details and a clean CARFAX report, this pristine Continental R Mulliner is offered with its original owner’s manual and pair of Bentley umbrellas.

It is easy to imagine this handsome beast alongside an R-Type Continental in similar livery . . . just as, indeed, it has spent the last few years in Orin Smith’s prized collection.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more