The name “Bentley Continental” has been used for generations. Luxury cars going back to 1952 have been given this name. The first Bentley Continental was the Mark VI in 1952. It was followed by the Continental R-type from 1952-1953. The Continental S1 was produced from 1955-1959, the S2 from 1959-1962 and the S3 from 1962-1965. The name “Bentley Continental” was brought back in 1984.
The Mark VI had a higher final drive ratio as well as compression ratio compared to the Mark VI. It also had modified exhaust and fuel systems. The R-Type Continental was the higher performance version of the R-Type, and the world’s fastest four-seat car in production of its era. Nicknamed “Olga,” this Continental had higher gear ratios as well as modified carburetion, exhaust manifolds and induction, when compared to the regular R-type.
The S1 Continental had a lighter weight fixed head than the normal S1, and the S2 Continental had an even higher gearing and performance engines than its namesake. The S3 Continental, strictly coachbuilt, had a sleek and light aluminum body. It was much faster than the regular S3, due in part to improved compression ratios and higher gearing.