Bentley has used the Continental name on several generations of luxury automobiles since 1952.
Following World War II, Bentley moved to resume production of civilian automobiles, and its factory was relocated to Crewe, England from Derby. There, Bentley engineers produced so-called R-Type Continentals for three years, from 1952 to 1955.These were derivatives of the original R-Type,the second series in Bentley's postwar luxury lineup. The R-Type Continental's chassis was independently produced and sold to custom coach-builders. One of the world's most expensive automobiles,only about 208 R-Type Continentals were built in total. Following the R-Type Continental, the Continental S1, S2 and S3 were released consecutively beginning in 1955. The S1 was well received, 49 being built though some reviewers considered the boot space inadequate. The deficiency was addressed on later vehicles.The S2, unveiled in 1959, debuted with a new L Series V-8 engine,still used in contemporary Bentleys like the Mulsanne. It also incorporated air conditioning and standard power steering, considered cutting-edge amenities at the time. The S3, for its part, was distinguishable by its "four-headlamps in the front wings.During the 1950s and early '60s, the Bentley Continental was marketed for its powerful engine and lowered suspensions, thought to improve performance for high-speed touring. The fastback coupe's distinctive angle-free, lightweight design also helped establish its British manufacturers' prosperity for the post-war era. In 2015 a 1952 R Type Continental, in unrestored condition, sold for over $1 million USD. The second generation of the Continental ended in 1965 with the introduction of the replacement T Series.The Continental nameplate would not be revived until 1984.