Rise of the R-Type Continental

Of all the vehicles that Hagerty Price Guide has tracked since we first began publishing our book way back in September 2006 (then named Cars That Matter), the Bentley R-Type Continental has been one of the most impressive movers. We commented that the R-Type Continental’s gorgeous lines, potent engine, limited numbers and exquisite production details weren’t consistent with its place in the market. The market, it seems, shared the same sentiment.

In 2006, these cars occupied roughly the same price range as a 1965 Aston Martin DB6, with excellent examples of both cars worth approximately $185,000. Today, the DB6 has experienced strong growth to $235,000 (27%), whereas the Bentley has flown to more rarefied air (an astonishing 288% jump to $719,000). The rise in values has brought more vehicles into the sales stream, as one might expect, but it doesn’t appear that the market is saturated yet. During the past six months alone we have watched Gooding sell a 4.9L in Amelia Island for $770,000, RM sell a RHD 4.9L in London for $575,000, and Bonhams receive $477,000 in England for a 4.9L “in need of completion” and sold “strictly as viewed.” That is a lot of activity in a short amount of time for a car of which only 193 were produced.

This August in Monterey, RM is auctioning Laurence Rockefeller’s 4.9L R-Type Continental. The estimate spans $850,000 to $1,000,000, which means we might have an answer a fair bit earlier than we thought to the question we posed in May: “How long until 4.9L cars hit $1,000,000?”

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