1953 Bentley R Type
This impressive, beautifully presented manual transmission Bentley R Type was delivered new on the 8th May 1953, finished in Midnight Blue with Tan leather upholstery. Our R Type was supplied new by Jack Barclay Ltd, Berkeley Square, London to a sub retailer, A Owen Ltd in Park Hill Clapham, South West London. The Bentley was supplied new to L Harris (Harella) Ltd, Goswell Road, London EC1 who became one of the biggest fashion names during the 1960’s. The Bentley was registered new NXB 838 and today still retains its original registration mark and factory original colour combination.
The Company who purchased the Bentley new were founded by a tailor's apprentice Lew Harris who in 1919 returned to England from the USA and set up a small clothing manufacturing business in London, trading as L Harris (Harella) Ltd. In the 1940's the operation grew into the North of England, retaining its London factory and expanding into Birkenhead, Merseyside and Halifax, West Yorkshire. By the 1960's the Company grew to be a huge exporter of fashions across the World. Harella was the second biggest exporter of ladies clothes in the 1960's and was unique in having ‘live' models for its garments for inspection by the factory's head passer. The wider textile industry regarded the firm as one of the most enterprising businesses in a highly competitive field. In 1963 Harella was taken over by Sellincourt Group in a deal said to be worth more than £3M.
Having spent its early life owned by the prominent London fashion Company, at some point during the 1970's NXB 838 was taken off the road for in the region of 30 years and during the 1990's, it was re-commissioned, and MOT tested with a recorded mileage of little over 30,000 in 1997. We understand the Bentley was largely original and was subject of various restoration work. By 1997, the Bentley was once again registered with the DVLA, retaining its original registration mark and having being put back into use for the first time in 30 years, from December 1999 to July 2001 the car had a further £10,000 spent, mainly on mechanical work. Detailed handwritten invoices from a South West London garage confirm all work carried out. The Bentley was now in regular use and by 2010 the car had covered a further 17,000 miles, mileage recorded at 47,000. During the 2000's the Bentley was superbly maintained with receipts on file for thousands of pounds worth of maintenance and upkeep.
Between 2008 and 2010 over £20,000 was spent with Royce Service and Engineering in Surrey, the Bentley was treated to bodywork and paintwork, restoring interior woodwork and further general upkeep. Having had some further cosmetic restoration work, a highlight for the Bentley and its then owner was June 2011 when the car attended and completed the London/Brighton rally and a picture is on file with Stirling Moss with the car. The car has since had careful use and has come to us with little under 50,000 miles recorded. We are pleased to report NXB 838 has arrived in lovely condition with beautifully aged, gleaming Midnight Blue paintwork, stunning brightwork and the most wonderful upholstery with gorgeous tan leather, lovely door cards, headlining and outstanding, beautifully polished woodwork. On the road our Bentley doesn't disappoint with a fabulous 4.5 litre engine holding correct oil pressure, performance from the six cylinder engine is excellent and the four speed manual gearbox is smooth and notably quiet. The car cruises wonderfully, brakes are sharp and efficient, and the R Type is a true delight to drive. This is a fabulous car, it retains wonderful provenance, is factory correct and is first class to drive.