1961 Bentley S2 Continental
Year : 1961.
Make : Bentley.
Model : S2 Continental.
Coachbuilder : H.J.Mulliner.
Price : P.O.A.
Body Type : Coupe.
Colour : Black.
Trim : Tan Leather.
Condition : Very good condition throughout.
Technical : Four speed automatic gearbox, power steering, 8 cylinder 90 degree V-.
Data : Configuration engine, 6.2 litres displacement, 6230cc capacity. Drum brakes servo-assisted.
1959 was an important year in the history of Rolls-Royce and Bentley when looking at the mechanical development of the companies.
The series one engine had effectively run its course by this point and could not be developed any further.
The approximate 160bhp output was more than sufficient but due to pressures and competition elsewhere Rolls-Royce sought out an improved power unit to deliver more speed whilst retaining the refined performance.
The answer was a complete move away from the six cylinder inline engine configuration to an all new V8 unit boasting 6,230cc and an estimated 200bhp.
The new V8 engine was constructed almost entirely in aluminium and was of a very similar weight to its predecessor, but featured hydraulic tappets to ensure quiet running.
A few other mechanical aspects were modified including the braking and lubrication systems, with automatic transmission and power steering now standard fittings.
The new second generation Silver Cloud and S series cars were capable of speeds comfortably in excess of 100mph whilst retaining the feel and performance Rolls-Royce and Bentley owners had become accustomed to.
Coachbuilders H.J. Mulliner had enjoyed significant success during the 1950s with their iconic R Type Continental Fastback and subsequent S1 Continental Fastback designs.
As the launch of the all new Bentley S2 Continental chassis and engine drew closer the design team at H.J. Mulliner also looked to the future and began to make some small amendments to their S1 Continentals Fastback design by re-positioning of the front spot lights on to the top of the wing line.
They also listened to their customers requests for a new two door design which allowed greater luggage capacity in the boot.
The result was design number 7500, built in very limited numbers which was fitted with a wraparound rear screen and fins on the front and rear wings. Design number 7500 was arguably improved further for the S2 Continental chassis with the removal of the fins to allow a more graceful line.
The result was design number 7514, considered by many including ourselves to be the most attractive of all coachwork designs fitted to the S2 Continental chassis between 1959 and 1962.
Chassis No BC40BY is one of just 71 examples built to design number 7514 in right hand drive by H.J. Mulliner.
The coachwork was constructed entirely of aluminium at their west London works, completed to order for each individual customer in the bespoke fashion that Bentley owners were accustomed to.
The car was originally completed in January of 1961, finished in shell grey with a tan leather interior.
It was then supplied by Jack Barclay Ltd to its first owner, Mr H.C. Maritneau of Thetford in Norfolk. It was then purchased by Saham Hall of Watton in Norfolk in July of 1966.
It was then purchased by a family in Italy some years ago and used for touring and social engagements.
In more recent times the car was stored and remained unused until returning to London in 2016.
The present owners decided to bring the car back to its former glory and instructed Frank Dale & Stepsons to carry out these works.
Externally speaking, the coachwork was stripped and re-painted in black and the chrome was restored. Internally speaking, a new headlining was trimmed, new cabin carpets were fitted, the woodwork was restored and the original tan leather was restored rather than replaced.
The car was also reviewed mechanically and prepared to ensure correct performance, reliability and pleasurable motoring.
The completed car looks superb and drives just as one would expect.
It comes complete with copy chassis cards, tools and all of the invoices detailing the works carried out in recent times.