‘Barn-find’ Bentley soars to $1.1 million sale

The 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental was held in storage  for 15 years | Barons
The 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental was held in storage for 15 years | Barons

In what the Barons auction house described as “frenzied bidding,” a distressed “barn-find” 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental fastback sedan sold for a remarkable $1.1 million this week at the Sandown Park sale in Surrey, England.

The Bentley sale is the highest price ever achieved at Barons, which had bids coming in from all over the world for the rare luxury classic that has been in storage for 15 years. According to Barons, there were 45 bidders: 15 in the sales room, 10 on the phone and 20 on the internet, all vying to claim the dusty jewel.

The bids climbed in increments of £50,000, then tapering to £25,000 bids before reaching the sale of £739,212, which is $1,109,186 at today’s exchange rate. The total includes auction fee and the British national Value Added Tax.

The pre-auction estimate was $300,000 to $600,000.

“This was an absolutely fantastic result,” Barons’ director Tony Cavell said in a news release. “A ‘lost’ car always attracts collectors’ attention, and when it’s such a rare, iconic and valuable machine, that interest can lead to a frenetic bidding battle such as we saw yesterday. It will be fascinating to see the ‘journey’ the Bentley now takes, as its restoration commences.”

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