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ROLLS, BENTLEY SALES SPEED UP IN N. AMERICA

Rolls Royce is enjoying increased attention as it develops new models and merchandising plans. North American sales of Rolls-Royce and Bentleys have increased 19 percent over last year, and Robert Wharen, managing director of American operations, expects further increases.

By industry standards, even those producing cars with six-figure price tags, Rolls-Royce is a very small company. Wharen considers this a special advantage. The factory is able to react almost instantly to the needs and desires of customers.In response to North American customers, a special Rolls-Royce model, the Silver Dawn, was developed and has contributed to the sales increase.

The difference between Rolls-Royce and Bentley is being emphasized. Rolls-Royce, the luxury sedan, is available in just three models; the Silver Dawn, with a suggested retail price of $154,000, the slightly longer Silver Spur at $176,500 and the Limousine at $359,500.

Bentley, considered the sportier car, offers six models. The base Bentley is the Brooklands with a suggested retail price of $139,900; a longer wheelbase version is $20,000 more. Two Bentley Turbo R's start at $195,500, and the Continental carries a price of $296,500.

The top of the line Bentley is the new Azure convertible, which was first seen last year. The suggested retail price is $319,000. Wharen says there will be just 30 available in the United States this year - all have been sold.

Wharen expects to get at least 30 more in 1996, but half have been spoken for.