1962 Bentley Continental S2 Cabrio
Lot 124
1962 Bentley Continental Drophead Coupé Chassis no. BC-131-LCZ
Sold for €147,200 (US$ 197,733) inc. premium
Lot Details
1962 Bentley Continental Drophead Coupé
Coachwork by by H J Mulliner, Park Ward Ltd

Chassis no. BC-131-LCZ
Décrit par le magazine The Autocar comme "une nouvelle étape dans l'évolution des Bentley d'après-guerre", le magnifique coupé Continental a toujours été synonyme de voyages sans efforts à vitesse élevée, depuis sa présentation sur le châssis de la type R en 1952. Avec l'arrivée en 1955 de la dernière génération des versions six cylindres, les nouvelles Silver Cloud et Bentley Type S, la Continental perd un peu de son individualité, mais rien de son exclusivité. Bien que d'une fiabilité éprouvée, le six cylindres Rolls-Royce arrive en bout de développement. Au même moment, la société fait face à une concurrence plus féroce de la part de rivales plus rapides en provenance des Etats-Unis. La combinaison de ces deux facteurs incitent la marque à passer au moteur V8 à l'approche des années 1960.
Présentées à l'automne 1959, les Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II et Bentley S2 apparaissent inchangées extérieurement par rapport à leurs devancières Silver Cloud et Type S, bien que leurs performances soient considérablement améliorées par le nouveau V8 en aluminium de 6 230 cm3. "La Bentley S2, ainsi que sa sœur Rolls-Royce, permet de voyager à vitesse élevée en silence et dans le luxe, conducteur et passager jouissant du sentiment de bien-être que seul peut procurer le savoir-faire britannique. Le moteur V8, avec ses accélérations vigoureuses, contribue à ce résultat et représente un pas en avant significatif pour la technique Rolls-Royce" s'enthousiasme le magazine Autosport. Peu de changements notables affectent les trains roulants, mais la direction assistée est maintenant montée en série et la boîte de vitesses manuelle est abandonnée, au profit de la seule transmission automatique quatre rapports Rolls-Royce.
La version Continental de la Bentley reste, comme toujours, exclusivement une voiture de carrossier. Les entreprises telles que HJ Mulliner, Park Ward, James Young et Hooper (avec un seul exemplaire) proposent tous des carrosseries sur le châssis Continental S2, qui diffère de la version standard par ses freins avant à quatre segments, un radiateur plus bas et, jusqu'au châssis n°BC99BY, une démultiplication finale plus élevée. De ces quatre carrossiers, James Young et Hooper cessent rapidement leur activité, laissant Mulliner et Park Ward seuls pour poursuivre cette noble tradition. Renforçant son activité interne de fabrication de carrosseries, Rolls-Royce fait l'acquisition de HJ Mulliner en 1959 et, deux ans plus tard, l'entreprise fusionne avec Park Ward, qui avait été achetée en 1939.
La voiture que nous offrons ici, "BC-131-LCZ", est un des premiers exemples du style "sans décrochement d'aile" de Mulliner, Park Ward. Cette voiture, volant à gauche d'origine, exceptionnellement bien documentée et n'ayant eu que deux propriétaires, "BC-131-LCZ" a été conservée par son premier acheteur — un M. Boyer — de 1962 à 2004, année où elle est passée entre les mains de son actuel propriétaire. M. Boyer a commandé sa voiture chez Jack Barclay à Londres, l'utilisant d'abord pour partir en vacances en Ecosse, avant de l'expédier chez lui, dans le New-Jersey, aux Etats-Unis. Depuis, la Bentley a couvert quelque 102 400 km entre les mains de M. Boyer, bénéficiant sans interruption d'un entretien suivi. Elle est totalement exempte de rouille et de chocs, et n'a jamais connu de réparations. Beaucoup de correspondance la concernant depuis son achat — bon de livraison, documents d'enregistrement annuels, etc — accompagne la voiture.

Described by The Autocar as, 'A new stage in the evolution of the post-war Bentley,' the magnificent Continental sports saloon has been synonymous with effortless high speed cruising in the grand manner since its introduction on the R-Type chassis in 1952. With the arrival in 1955 of the final generation of six-cylinder cars, the all-new Silver Cloud and Bentley S-Type, the Continental lost some of its individuality but none of its exclusivity. Dependable though it had proved, Rolls-Royce's six-cylinder engine was nearing the end of its development. At the same time the company was facing increased competition from faster rivals in the vital United States market, and it was, principally, these two factors that prompted the switch to V8 power as the 1960s approached.
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 engine. 'The Bentley S2, with its sister Rolls-Royce models, gives high-speed travel in silence and luxury, while the driver and passengers enjoy the sense of well being that only British craftsmanship can give. The V8 engine, with its flashing acceleration, certainly contributes to the result and is a definite step forward in Rolls-Royce technique,' enthused Autosport. There were few significant changes to the running gear, though power-assisted steering was now standard and the manual gearbox had been dropped, Rolls-Royce's own four-speed automatic transmission being the sole offering.
The Continental version of the Bentley remained, as ever, exclusively a coachbuilt car. The firms of H J Mulliner, Park Ward, James Young and Hooper (with a solitary example) all offered 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. Of these four, James Young and Hooper would soon cease coachbuilding, leaving only Mulliner and Park Ward to carry on a noble tradition. Consolidating its in-house coachbuilding capability, Rolls-Royce purchased H J Mulliner in 1959 and two years later the firm was merged with Park Ward, which had been acquired in 1939.
The car offered here, 'BC-131-LCZ', is an early example of Mulliner, Park Ward's influential 'straight through wing' body style. An exceptionally well documented car that has had only two owners from new, 'BC-131-LCZ' was kept by the first - a Mr. Boyer - from 1962 to 2004, when it passed into the care of the current vendor. Mr. Boyer ordered the Bentley from Jack Barclay in London, taking his new car on vacation in Scotland before shipping it back to his home in New Jersey, USA. The Bentley covered some 64,000 miles in Mr Boyer's hands and was properly maintained at all times. It is completely damage and rust free and has never had any repairs. All correspondence from the date of original purchase, bill of sale, yearly registration cards, etc. come with the car.
Cosmetically the Continental is excellent, with straight body panels, regulation panel fit and very nice paintwork. All the chromework is original and excellent with no dents or pitting, while the interior is in superb order, retaining its original leather upholstery, carpeting, woodwork and radio, the latter in working order. The boot and engine compartment are likewise totally original and in excellent condition. In short: everything on this car has been well maintained and is working.
The second owner has continued to maintain the car properly, entrusting the work to recognised Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialists, Brabo of Hillegom, Netherlands. There are invoices on file totalling circa €20,000 spent over the last five years, in which time the vendor drove the car 25,000 miles. Distinguished by its irreproachable history and documentation, long term ownership and sparkling cosmetic presentation, this unique Bentley Continental is ready to go anywhere and is offered with its original USA title, Dutch registration and roadworthiness papers.
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