Bentley built 208 R Type Continentals between 1952 and 1955, but only one of them was turned into a proper racer by its extravagant owner. Fifty years on, the Gooda Special took on the Goodwood Circuit.
The Continentals came with the same 4.6 inline-six as the normal R Types, but thanks to the modified carburetor, induction and exhaust manifolds along with higher gear ratios, they were much faster than the 130 horsepower saloons.
Chassis number B77ZX was modified by Robert Peel after being commissioned by owner Robert (Bob) Gouda, who looked at the fastback shape and instantly had a vision for a race car. Good man.
The big Bentley went on a diet. It got a bespoke aluminum body with a louvered hood for better cooling, racing vents on both ends, a painted radiator and custom wheels. The gorgeous red leather interior survived the surgery of course.
The car was raced back in 1967 at Silverstone driven by Brian Dumps, but what happened to it afterwards is pretty much a blur.
When it resurfaced again in 2006, RM Auctions couldn't sell it after the bidding stopped at $60,00o despite it even having iPod connectivity in the boot.
A few years later, it went to JD Classics where it got restored to perfect condition. New owner Terry O'Reilly entered his unique racer at the Tony Gaze Trophy at Goodwood two weeks ago against Aston Martins, Ferraris and ACs weighting significantly less, but with the Gooda Special, it was never about winning anyway.
It's about being classy.
Built by Rolls-Royce, modified by a most likely crazy man, painted British Racing Green sporting two stripes of awesomeness. Only in England!
Photo credit: Máté Petrány/Jalopnik