Cars of 1998
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It is generally accepted that all and any specimen from the Bentley Continental R model-series had been fitted with turbocharged engines. However there has been one - and only one - Continental R with no turbocharger increasing the engine's power! That peculiar variant is the model year 1992 Continental R with chassis-number (VIN = Vehicle Identification Number) #SCBZB00A6NCX42003. The double zero in the VIN (6th and 7th digit) reveals that this car was not equipped with a turbo. This car had been the third Continental R built – and indeed the process of manufacturing this as a pre-series model had started in 1990 and was finished during the first half of 1991. It was initially built to Swiss specifications; an entry in the factory records stated "For use in Switzerland". The story begins in October 1990 when the pre-production Continental Rs were specified. This #SCBZB00A6NCX42003 was specified with turbo, like all other Continental Rs. The colour scheme was 'Ming blue' with Magnolia hide. The car did serve as a 'Company Demonstrator' and was used for promotional purposes; e.g. exhibited at various dealers’ showrooms on a tour in the United Kingdom in July 1991 followed by a similar tour in the USA. During various demonstration runs it collected a mileage of more than 2,500 miles.
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The engine was changed, too, and the catalyst became deleted. Why and when the engine was changed into a non-turbo engine is not noted in the records. Given that Saudi customers usually insisted on latest specifications the reason for that decision remains a mystery. It will stay one of the RR&B secrets.
Acknowledgement: Research by Marinus Rijkers, The Netherlands, has found this curious facet from the early history of that model-series launched by Rolls-Royce in the early 1990s.
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