1956 Bentley S1 Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC49AF Engine no. BC48A
Lot 429
1956 Bentley S1 Continental Sports Saloon Chassis no. BC49AF Engine no. BC48A
Sold for £166,500 (US$ 269,770) inc. premium

Lot Details
1956 Bentley S1 Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC49AF Engine no. BC48A 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC49AF Engine no. BC48A 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC49AF Engine no. BC48A 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC49AF Engine no. BC48A 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC49AF Engine no. BC48A 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC49AF Engine no. BC48A 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC49AF Engine no. BC48A 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC49AF Engine no. BC48A 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC49AF Engine no. BC48A 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC49AF Engine no. BC48A
1956 Bentley S1 Continental Sports Saloon
Coachwork by H J Mulliner

Registration no. 889 UXG
Chassis no. BC49AF
Engine no. BC48A

Footnotes

  • Bentley's 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. Unlike the ordinary, factory-bodied, 'standard steel' R-Type, the Continental was bodied in the traditional manner and first appeared with what many enthusiasts consider to be the model's definitive style of coachwork - the lightweight, wind tunnel-developed fastback of H J Mulliner.
    The Continental's performance figures would have been considered excellent for an out-and-out sportscar, but for a full four/five seater sedan they were exceptional: a top speed of 120mph, 100mph achievable in third gear, 50mph reached in a little over 9 seconds and effortless cruising at the 'ton'. Built for export only at first, the Continental was, once delivery charges and local taxes had been paid, almost certainly the most expensive car in the world, as well as the fastest capable of carrying four adults and their luggage. 'The Bentley is a modern magic carpet which annihilates great distances and delivers the occupants well-nigh as fresh as when they started,' concluded Autocar.
    With the arrival 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. Eulogising about the new S-Series cars, introduced in April 1955, 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.'
    Later, in October that same year, the Bentley Continental became available on the 'S' chassis. 'It brings Bentley back to the forefront of the world's fastest cars,' Autocar remarked of the H J Mulliner-styled fastback which, arguably, was the quickest four/five-seater saloon of its day. Longer by 3" than that of the preceding R-Type, the S-Type's new box-section chassis incorporated improved brakes and suspension and an enlarged (to 4,887cc) and more powerful version of the existing inlet-over-exhaust six-cylinder engine, which for the first time was identical in specification in its Rolls and Bentley forms. The Continental version came with shorter radiator and higher gearing and, for a time at least, could be ordered with right-hand 'change, manual transmission. As had been the case with the original R-Type, the new S-Type Continental was only ever available as a coachbuilt car, the designs produced by independent coachbuilders for the S1 Continental chassis being among era's the most stylish, although – arguably – none ever improved on H J Mulliner's sublime original.
    'BC49AF' is one of only 123 right-hand drive H J Mulliner-bodied S1 Continentals made out of a total production of 431 examples. This 'modern magic carpet' underwent a high quality cosmetic restoration in 2004 at which time the car was repainted, the interior woodwork removed and re-veneered to a very high standard, much of the brightwork re-plated and the interior re-trimmed by marque specialists Frank Dale & Stepsons. A modern hi-fi system was has been installed in the glove compartment, retaining the dashboard's correct period look of while improving the sound quality to current standards. Other retrospectively fitted improvements include power-assisted steering (using genuine factory parts) and air conditioning, cool air being ducted from two vents situated on the rear parcel shelf.
    Finished in black with Champagne leather interior, this beautiful Continental is an excellent example of this much sought after model. 'BC 49AF' comes complete with all its tools, secured in the usual location in the boot, and is offered with old-style logbook, sundry restoration invoices, current road fund licence/MoT and Swansea V5.

Saleroom notices

  • The original documentation will follow post-sale - we have copies available to view at the document desk.
Auction information

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