Lot 635: 1960 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupé
Eulogising about Bentley’s newly introduced ‘S’ Series cars, The Autocar wrote, ‘the latest Bentley model offers a degree of safety, comfort and performance that is beyond the experience and perhaps even the imagination of the majority of the world’s motorists.’
Introduced in the autumn of 1959, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II and Bentley S2 appeared externally unchanged from their Silver Cloud and S-Type predecessors, though their performance was considerably enhanced by the new 6,230cc aluminium-alloy V8 engine. Power-assisted steering was now standard and there was no longer the option of a manual gearbox, Rolls-Royce’s own four-speed automatic transmission being the sole offering.
The Bentley Continental was, of course, exclusively a coachbuilt car, the firms of H J Mulliner, Park Ward and James Young all offering bodies on the Continental S2 chassis, which differed from the standard version by virtue of its four-leading-shoe front brakes, shorter radiator and, up to chassis number BC99BY, higher gearing. By far the most striking of the S2 Continentals were those bodied by Rolls-Royce’s in-house coachbuilder Park Ward, and this design by Norwegian Willem Koren, with its influential continuous front-to-rear wing line, would continue on the Continental S3. Quad headlamps were the S3’s major styling innovation, and on the H J Mulliner, Park Ward-bodied Continental, were contained in slanting nacelles, giving rise to this model’s ‘Chinese Eye’ soubriquet.
Sold new in the UK via Jack Barclay Ltd to first owner Balfour Engineering Company, right-hand drive chassis ‘BC57AR’ was next owned (in 1965) by The Percy Dalton Famous Peanut Company. Although an original S2 Continental, its coachwork has been upgraded to S3 specification with the four-lamp ‘Chinese Eye’ front end, though when, where and by whom is not known. It was acquired by the present owner in July 2000, the previous recorded keeper being Cullum McAlpine. UK registered ‘257 HYT’, the car underwent a complete service at Bentley agents Broughtons upon acquisition, and since then has been serviced annually in France by Ateliers Tisserand. Parts renewed over the past four years have included the entire exhaust system (in stainless-steel), all four tyres, battery and brakes (x4), while the bumpers have been re-plated and the body re-sprayed, this latter refurbishment being carried out in November 2004. The car is finished in Regal Red (the original body colour was sand) with beige leather interior and matching beige tonneau and hood, while other noteworthy features include power-assisted steering, modern Sony mini-disc player and original radio. Presented in generally very good condition, the car is offered with its original (almost complete) tool kit and Swansea V5 registration document.
Sports, Competition & Collectors' Motor Cars|
Bonhams, Goodwood Festival Of Speed, Chichester
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£31050|
|Registration number||257 HYT|
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